Figure : human-influence-on-the-greenhouse-effect

The Greenhouse Effect

Figure -.3

U.S. Global Change Research Program
Matthew Dzaugis

This figure appears in chapter appendix-5-frequently-asked-questions of the Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II report.

The figure shows a simplified representation of the greenhouse effect. About half of the sun’s radiation reaches Earth’s surface, while the rest is reflected back to space or absorbed by the atmosphere. Naturally occurring greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), do not absorb most of the incoming shortwave (visible) energy from the sun, but they do absorb the longwave (infrared) energy re-radiated from Earth’s surface. This energy is then re-emitted in all directions, keeping the surface of the planet much warmer than it would be otherwise. Human activities—predominantly the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas)—are increasing levels of CO2 and other GHGs in the atmosphere, which is amplifying the natural greenhouse effect and thus increasing Earth’s temperature. Source: adapted from EPA 2016.75c746be-4e8b-48b8-97f9-4e9d31d5df21

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Other figures containing images in this figure : 34.11: Human Influence on the Greenhouse Effect

This figure was created on May 01, 2017.

This figure was submitted on December 03, 2018.


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