Q&A: What is the relationship betweent the greenhouse effect and global warming?

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Question by alm0stch0sn: What is the relationship betweent the greenhouse effect and global warming?
Isn’t global warming basically a change in the greenhouse effect? If not, what’s the relationship between the two phenomena?
Bob – thanks, but don’t you think a low pressure system would involve falling CO2?

Best answer:

Answer by Blake M
global warming is the heating of the earth, it is caused by the greenhouse effect. when sunlight enter earth it is a certain wavelength. because of all the co2 in the atmosphere, the waves can’t leave, so the earth heats up.

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10 Responses to “Q&A: What is the relationship betweent the greenhouse effect and global warming?”

  1. jeff m says:

    The greenhouse effect is the tendency of the atmosphere to retain heat – 95%of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor. Global warming is a ridiculous theory that human caused CO2 (1% of the greenhouse effect) will cause a catastrophic, runaway feedback effect, resulting in excessive warming. here’s a couple of good links



  2. zeldazeebra says:

    Global warming is an observed fanominon. glaciers melting, ice caps receding, that sort of thing.

    The green house effect is an attempt to explain a possible mechanism that might be causing Global warming.

  3. William W says:

    M. Blake is right. Reducing the burning of fossil fuels is major and critical contributor. China is becoming the new major source. Although it might be politically incorrect, i’m an advocate of expanded nuclear power. After a few hard and painful lessons, I think we finally matured enough to construct safe and efficient plants and can use electric power as a general power source as is Scandinavia. (super hardened against terrorists, of course).

  4. katy_maj says:

    Not a single person on here knows what they’re talking about, particularly Jeff M., who idiotically seems to think that global warming is incorrect, despite the fact that global warming is an observed phenomenon that has finally been accepted as fact by most of the world. Google it.

  5. Bob says:

    Yes, it’s an increase in the greenhouse effect due to man made CO2.

    Water vapor is the main greenhouse gas, but its’ effect is steady, because, if you put more water vapor in the air, it just falls out as precipitation.

    Excess CO2 stays there for years.

  6. DaveH says:

    The greenhouse effect works by short wavelength radiation passing through the ‘greenhouse’ gasses and hitting the earth. Here they are absorbed by the earth and re-radiated at lower wavelengths as ‘heat’.
    The higher frequencies pass through the greenhouse gasses uninhibited, but this lower frequency radiation is absorbed in different frequency ranges by each of the greenhouse gasses, (Water Vapour, CO2, etc). This heat is prevented from going straight back out into space and thus warms us up.

    Carbon Dioxide only absorbs specific frequencies, as do Water Vapour, Methane, Ozone etc. Carbon dioxide only absorbs about 5% of the infra red frequency range, Water vapour absorbs about 75% of the frequency range and the other greenhouse gases absorb most of the remainder.

    About 96% of atmospheric CO2 occurs naturally. Mankind’s 4% is a very small component.

    So man made CO2 emissions can only possibly influence about 5% of 4% of the overall greenhouse effect… i.e. a maximum of 0.2% of the greenhouse effect can be caused by manmade CO2 emissions.

    But here’s the real stinger. If you double the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere you don’t double its greenhouse effect. The relationship between absorption and concentration isn’t linear, but logarithmic. i.e. for each doubling of CO2 concentration you only get the same increase in absorption as previous doublings. The CO2 concentration currently in the atmosphere is already absorbing nearly all of the infra red frequencies it reacts to. Increasing the CO2 concentration further has only a very small additional effect.

    So increases in manmade CO2 emissions can only influence the greenhouse effect by a small proportion of 0.2%. To account for large changes in global temperature you have to look at factors other than the simple physical properties of CO2’s ability to absorb infra red radiation.

    Increasing or reducing manmade CO2 emissions will have such a small influence on the greenhouse effect that it will be almost unmeasurable.

    Here’s a very good paper on the absorptive properties of CO2.


  7. realitycheck says:

    Stop being retarded people. CO2 is HEAVIER than air. It sinks. It isn’t floating up high in the atmosphere and making a greenhouse effect. Look it up. Its specific gravity is greater than 1. IE it SINKS.

  8. Get Real says:

    The Earth is heated and cooled by the sun in multiple ways.
    One way is the direct heating of the surface from the rays that hit it. Another way is from certain wavelengths of the light that are reflected back and get absorbed by greenhouse gases and warm the atmosphere (mostly water vapor, methane and tiny amounts of CO2). This is the process called the greenhouse effect. The third way is through the effects of cosmic rays on cloud formations.

    The amount of energy we get from the sun changes in cycles. such as sunspot activity and the position of the Earth’s orbit versus the sun in a couple hundred year cycle. The energy we get each year from the sun is constantly changing and guess what- the temperature of the Earth is affected by it.

    This is the problem with the alarmists. They want to blame every aspect of climate and weather on the greenhouse effect when there are many other things going on that they don’t take into account. Most scientists now believe the alarmists are giving FAR too much weight to the greenhouse effect and too little or NO weight to any other of many known factors in their computer models. So their computer model predictions really are just complicated science fiction.

  9. bestonnet_00 says:

    Some denialist idiot:
    “Stop being retarded people. CO2 is HEAVIER than air. It sinks. It isn’t floating up high in the atmosphere and making a greenhouse effect. Look it up. Its specific gravity is greater than 1. IE it SINKS.”
    Not below the turbopause.

    Or were you saying that there is pure nitrogen on top of pure oxygen? Because that’s the implication of a homosphere (which is what we’d have to be in for CO2 to to sink like you claim it will on a global scale).

  10. partha.d s says:

    We all know, the earth is surrounded by a cover of gasses as atmosphere. This atmosphere allows most of the light to pass through, which reaches the surface of earth.

    This light from sun is absorbed by the earth surface and converts into heat energy. This heat energy is re-emitted by the surface of the earth during night.

    Due excessive presence of some gasses in the atmosphere, this escape of heat from earth surface is prevented, resulting in heating of earth called ‘global warming’.

    The gasses which are responsible for causing global warming are called ‘greenhouse gasses’. Carbon dioxide is one of the most important greenhouse gases. This carbon dioxide mostly comes to atmosphere as air pollution from vehicles, coal-fired power plants and other industries burning fossil fuels. Human population increase and large scale deforestation are also responsible for carbon dioxide generation.

    Thus, Global Warming adds energy to the Earth’s biosphere.

    The climate change which we are experiencing is due to global warming.

    Heat is the fuel of weather systems. More heat, more extreme weather.

    Energy drives the water cycle.

    The more energy there is the faster the water cycle is driven and the more extreme the weather patterns become.

    Each one degree rise in the temperature of the world’s oceans is the equivalent to 1.4 BILLION one Megaton atom bombs; that is a lot of energy! This tremendous amount of devastating energy, generating because of our faulty creation “Global Warming” is responsible for the present climate change.

    Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising that the result is more extreme weather. More rain, more drought and more storms.

    The harmful effects of presence of greenhouse gasses in atmosphere are global warming, climate change, ozone depletion, sea level rise, adverse effects on biodiversity etc.

    Therefore, our prime responsibility is not to promote any industrialization which enhances carbon emission, rather than reduction.

    It has been reported that, due to rapid, unchecked and unethical industrialization in many parts of the globe, the concentration of methane, a very prominent greenhouse gas, has been rising and in last one year alone it has risen by about 0.5%. We all know that, methane is the second most important gas causing man-made climate change. Each molecule causes about 25 times more warming than a molecule of CO2, though it survives for shorter times in the atmosphere before being broken down.

    Further, it has also been known to us that, already global climate is at great disastrous condition because of present rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, which is significantly higher than the average annual increase for the last 30 years. It has also been recently reported that, CO2 concentration has risen by 2.4 parts per million (ppm) in last one year; as against the average annual increase of 1.65ppm between 1979 and 2007. Thus, it shows evidence that, concentrations of greenhouse gases are rising faster than they were a decade ago. The methane concentration figure is more awesome and potentially of more concern.

    Because of the above abnormal rise in greenhouse gases in last one year or so, scientists fear that, it could reflect melting of permafrost and drying of tropical wetlands more rapidly. It has also been reported that, concentrations of greenhouse gases have been more or less stable since about 1999 and thereafter rapid increases.

    Industrial reforms in Asia, Europe and South American countries in last one decade reflected abnormal rise in greenhouse gases, especially of carbon dioxide and methane. Changes of methods rice farming processes and the capture of methane from landfill sites contributed to this rise, it is felt. Also, possibilities of release of methane from frozen zones of the world, notably the Arctic permafrost, as they warm cannot be ruled out.

    The rapid unchecked increase in coal fired industries (without cleaning coal) such as power plants, steel plants etc., are mostly responsible for rise in concentration of CO2.

    The sustained rise of greenhouse gases along with El Nino and La Nina (opposite of El Nino) conditions, the earth is experiencing warming effects. As per the new scientific analysis, because of the warming, the arctic snow melted most rapidly in last one year. They also predict that, the sea level could rise by more than one and half meters by another half century or so. Sea level rise of this magnitude would have major impacts on low-lying countries such as Bangladesh. Scientists also fear that, due to abnormal rise in average global temperature, in next five of six years there may not be any artic ice left during summer.

    For further information on the subject and other environmental issues, please refer my blog: http://www.environmentengineering.blogspot.com

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