The Greenhouse Effect

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  • Created by: Jadii
  • Created on: 13-03-14 20:42
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  • The Greenhouse Effect
    • Surface of the Sun = 6000K
    • Earth's average surface temp = 285K
    • Some infrared radiation is re-emitted by molecules - but it happens in all directions
    • adsorption of infrared radiation increases the vibrational energy of the methane molecules and the bonds vibrate more vigorously
      • This vibrational energy can be transferred to other molecules in the air like N2 and O2 by collisions
        • This increases their kinetic energy - raising the temp of the air.
    • Methane is formed through living organisms
      • Some infrared radiation is re-emitted by molecules - but it happens in all directions
      • An example of a greenhouse gas
      • Digestive tracts of animals
      • the vast stretches of tundra in Arctic regions when the ice melts and the ground becomes waterlogged
      • Rice paddy fields, where water and mud cut off air from rotting vegetation
      • Marshes, compost heaps and landfill sites where vegetation rots without air
      • adsorption of infrared radiation increases the vibrational energy of the methane molecules and the bonds vibrate more vigorously
        • This vibrational energy can be transferred to other molecules in the air like N2 and O2 by collisions
          • This increases their kinetic energy - raising the temp of the air.
      • Carbon dioxide and several other gases in the troposphere absorb infrared radiation
        • They let the Sun's visible radiation in, but they stop some of the Earth's infrared radiation getting out - they contribute to the greenhouse effect
    • Global Warming Potential
      • Depends on the absorption efficiency of the gas and its atmospheric lifetime
    • Greenhouse effect helps keep the average temp on the Earth to support life
      • We need the atmosphere so the Earth does not become like the Moon - barren and lifeless
      • The composition of our atmosphere is similar to Venus, with 97% CO2, but there would be no life because it would be so hot
        • Mars is cold on the other hand because its atmosphere is very thin
      • We are so used to our stable and comfortable temp that even a small has dramatic effects on life
  • Methane is formed through living organisms
    • An example of a greenhouse gas
    • Digestive tracts of animals
    • the vast stretches of tundra in Arctic regions when the ice melts and the ground becomes waterlogged
    • Rice paddy fields, where water and mud cut off air from rotting vegetation
    • Marshes, compost heaps and landfill sites where vegetation rots without air
    • Carbon dioxide and several other gases in the troposphere absorb infrared radiation
      • They let the Sun's visible radiation in, but they stop some of the Earth's infrared radiation getting out - they contribute to the greenhouse effect

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