egradation at high temperature
reflected to space due to the albedo (reflectivity) of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere
Land and sea ice, snow coverage and the clouds are all highly reflective
22% of the solar radiation reaching Earth is absorbed by the atmosphere
These molecules in turn reradiate the thermal radiation to other molecules in the atmosphere, into space, and back to the surface of the Earth.
troposphere (the lower layer of the atmosphere)
This naturally occurring process is referred to as the greenhouseeffect.
The greenhouse effect serves to maintain a relatively stable average temperature of approximately 15°C, sustaining life on Earth.
Greenhouse gases absorb thermal radiation in the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Cycles in nature, such as the carboncycle, the water cycle and nitrogen cycle, are responsible for the formation of naturally occurring greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere.
added to the concentrations of naturally occurring greenhouse gases
thermal balance, with the amount of thermal radiation entering the atmosphere in equilibrium with the amount of thermal radiation emitted back into space
As concentrations of greenhouse gases have risen due to anthropogenic activities, less thermal radiation is escaping the Earth, generating a thermal imbalance
This resulting increase in temperature is referred to as global warming.
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