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Lower Atmosphere
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1. Oxidants & Observation
2. Radiation & greenhouse gases
- radiation
- CO2, CH4
- water
* Worksheet 1
* Worksheet 2
3. Ozone & fire
4. Gases in the atmosphere
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Lower Atmosphere

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Unit 2
Radiation, greenhouse gases and the Greenhouse Effect

All the energy on Earth comes originally from the Sun.  In this unit we look at what happens to solar energy in the atmosphere and what proportion of it actually reaches the surface of the Earth.  We also look at the energy emitted back into space from the Earth.

 

 

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So in this unit we look at the radiation budget of the Earth - how much energy enters and leaves the system.  We then study how increasing greenhouse gas concentrations have altered the radiation budget.  We focus on carbon dioxide and methane, levels of which have increased dramatically as a result of human activity.  We also look in detail at the role of water vapour.  We know that water vapour is the most important natural greenhouse gas but we are very unsure how it will affect global warming in the future.

 

 

average temperature at earth's surface

Over the past few decades, the average temperature of the Earth has been increasing dramatically.  Greenhouse gases are responsible for this.  NASA GISS.

 

 

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last updated 16.02.2006 14:11:41 | © ESPERE-ENC 2003 - 2013