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The Earth's Temperature: Certainly, the typical temperature of the Earth has varied greatly during the last million years, from about 2°C (36°F) through the ice ages to about 15°C (59°F) through the warmer interglacial periods. We're now within an interglacial periodic and the Earth's average temperature for the last century averages 13.9°C (57°F). A lot of the research on the Earth's temperature has been an effort to comprehend the coming and going of the ice ages. We now understand that the Earth's temperature is correlated with the Milankovitch cycles, which affect just how much sunlight the Earth receives, but that is not the entire story. That greenhouse gases may play a role in warming the Earth was shown by Joseph Fourier in the 1820s. Utilizing the differential equations he developed for heat transfer, Fourier calculated that the Earth, considering its size and its distance from the Sun, must certanly be considerably colder than it really is. He proposed the Earth must be kept warmer by its atmosphere, which acts much as the glass in a greenhouse. The actual level of warming that would be attributed to the greenhouse effect was later found from the Stephen Boltzmann law, developed in early 1900s. If the Earth had no atmosphere, its average temperature would be 33°C lower, at -19.0°C (-2.2°F). Without greenhouse gases, the Earth would have been a frozen block of ice. vaporizer insurance

Greenhouse Gases: Heat energy leaves the Earth as infrared radiation, which makes up a area of the spectrum that is absorbed by many molecules while they vibrate. As infrared radiation leaves the Earth, it is absorbed then reemitted in all directions, a few of it heading back toward the Earth where it further warms the Earth. In the 1850's, John Tyndall's infrared research unearthed that nitrogen and oxygen, the major components of the atmosphere, do not absorb infrared radiation. He found that the molecules in charge of the greenhouse effect were water vapor and carbon dioxide. Water varies from the trace as much as about 4% depending on the humidity; carbon dioxide's concentration was about 0.0028% in Tyndall's time. In spite of their low concentration, CO2 and H2O both absorb strongly in the infrared region of the spectrum. Also, radiation leaving the Earth must traverse several kilometers of atmosphere, greatly increasing the likelihood of the radiation being absorbed and readmitted. Carbon dioxide plays a sizable role for its concentration, since it absorbs strongly in elements of the infrared spectrum where water does not.

Recent research by Kiehl and Tenebreth on the Earth's energy budget identified five naturally occurring gases that subscribe to the greenhouse effect. The gases, with their contribution in both clear sky and cloudy conditions, are listed in the table.UK online loan, payday loan UK

Each of the greenhouse gases has several absorption bands, and there are a few elements of the spectrum where the bands overlap, as noted in the table. Once clouds form, the liquid droplets absorbed broadly across most of the infrared region, so cloud formation reduces the contributions of one other gases. Overall, clouds and H2O account fully for about 75% of the greenhouse effect and carbon dioxide and one other greenhouse gases for about 25%. A few of the coldest nights on Earth are once the humidity is low and the night continues to be and clear, as the contribution of H20 is reduced far below the 60% given in the table.

The average residence time of a water molecule in the atmosphere is just about nine days. Because precipitation removes water from the air such a short time, the concentration of water in the air varies from the trace in cold arid region as much as about 4% in warm humid regions. The average residence amount of time in the atmosphere of CH4 is 12 years, as the residence times of NO2 and CO2 are more than a century. Gases with long half-lives reside in the atmosphere long enough to become evenly distributed through the entire atmosphere. Ozone (O3), which has a residence time of a few months, is constantly being formed in the atmosphere from photochemical processes, many of which are initiated by methane and hydrocarbons.