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  • 9/29/2010

    1

    Greenhouse effect

    and global warming

    The Greenhouse Effect and The Greenhouse Effect and

    Atmospheric WarmingAtmospheric Warming

    Why is it called greenhouse effect?

    What is the difference between the

    greenhouse effect and real greenhouses?

  • 9/29/2010

    2

    Greenhouse gases make up about 1% of the

    earth atmosphere

    Without the greenhouse gases, the earths

    average temperature would be close to -18C

    The Greenhouse Effect and The Greenhouse Effect and Atmospheric WarmingAtmospheric Warming

  • 9/29/2010

    3

    Most important greenhouse gases

    Gas Formula Contribution (%)

    Water Vapor H2O 36 72 %

    Carbon Dioxide CO2 9 26 %

    Methane CH4 4 9 %

    Ozone O3 3 7 %

    Do these numbers imply that CO2 is

    responsible for 9-26% of the earth warming?

    Greenhouse gases

    Water vapor is the most dominant greenhouse gas.

    Water vapor is the dominant positive feedback in the

    climate system and amplifies warming caused by

    changes in atmospheric CO2.

    This positive feedback is why climate is so sensitive

    to CO2 warming.

  • 9/29/2010

    4

    Main non-gas contributors to the

    greenhouse effect: Clouds

    How does the altitude of the clouds

    influence the greenhouse effect?

    Actually clouds do both

    1)act as insulation warming the earth

    2)reflect insolation cooling the earth

    Clouds and Greenhouse effect

  • 9/29/2010

    5

    COCO22 and warmingand warming

    Why does CO2 receive so much attention in

    the climate warming context?

    Carbon dioxide accounts for a significant

    fraction of the enhanced greenhouse effect.

    The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

    is increasing by more than 10% every 20 yrs

    due to human activity.

    COCO22 and warmingand warming

  • 9/29/2010

    6

    COCO22 and warmingand warming

    Natural sources of atmospheric CO2 volcanic outgassing

    combustion of organic matter

    respiration of aerobic organisms

    COCO22 and warmingand warming

    Anthropogenic sources?

  • 9/29/2010

    7

    Source epa.gov

    Source epa.gov

  • 9/29/2010

    8

    COCO22 and warmingand warming

    Natural land and ocean CO2 sinks removed

    57% of all CO2 emitted from human activities

    during the 1958-2008

    Atmospheric lifetime of CO2 is 50 to 200 yrs.

    Global warming will continue to affect the

    Earth for hundreds of years.

    What about CHWhat about CH44 and warming?and warming?

    Methane is 25 times more potent as a

    greenhouse gas than CO2 (but its at lower

    concentrations in the atmosphere)

  • 9/29/2010

    9

    What about CHWhat about CH44 and warming?and warming?

    Largest anthropogenic sources of methane

    emissions (for USA only):

    decomposition of wastes in landfills

    ruminant digestion

    manure management associated with livestock

    natural gas and oil systems

    What about CHWhat about CH44 and warming?and warming?

    There is some uncertainty about the

    potential future contributions of CH4 to

    global warming.

    Positive feedbacks triggered by elevated

    temperatures could release large amounts

    of CH4 to the atmosphere.

  • 9/29/2010

    10

    Lets now see some of the data

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