Climate change

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  • Climate change
    • carbon dioxide and water vapour are the most significant greenhouse gases
      • carbon dioxide is released by cell respiration, combustion
        • removed by photsynthesis and by dissolving in the oceans
      • water vapour is formed by evaporation and transpiration
        • removed by rainfall and snow
    • other gases including methane and nitrogen oxides have less impact
    • the impact of a gas depends on its ability to absorb long - wave radiation as well as on its concentration in the atmosphere
      • the concentration of a gas depends on the rate at which it is released into the atmosphere and how long on average it remains there
    • the warmed Earth emits longer - wave radiation
      • absorption of short - wave energy, released then as longer wavelenghts
      • longer - wave radiation is reabsorbed by greenhouse gases which retains the heat in the atmosphere
        • 25-30% of short waves is  absorbed before reaches the Earth
        • between 70 and 85% is reabsorbed, and then re-emitted
          • global warming
          • between 5 and 70 nm
    • Correlations between global temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations on Earth
      • the change of concentration in one greenhouse gas can bring to a change in the global temperatures
    • global temperatures and climate patterns are influenced by concentrations of greenhouse gases
    • there is a correlation between rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide since the start of the industrial revolution 200 years ago and average global temperatures
    • recent increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are largely due to increases in the combustion of fossilised organic matter


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