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gcc_sciencea - ENVST 110 Global Climate Change(Science A...

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ENVST 110 Global Climate Change (Science) A Page 1 of 6 Greenhouse effect and Global Climate Change A natural effect without which, based on distance from sun, we should be -18C, but we are +14C on average because of these heat trapping gasses. We have known since 1896 that certain gas molecules in our lower atmosphere (troposphere) allow light to pass through, but absorb and re-reflect infrared (heat), thereby insulating the planet. Major greenhouse gasses Note: Sources and sinks described below are in reference to sources into the troposphere, and sinks where gasses are stored somewhere other than the troposphere, or is broken down into another compound. H 2 O (water) o Most abundant o Hydrological cycle. As temperature warms more water evaporates into the atmosphere. This could lead to a positive feedback loop (later in notes). CO 2 (Carbon dioxide) o Sources Burning fossil fuels, combustion of any organic material, making cement (30 billion tons/yr) o Sinks Organic molecules in living and dead organisms Organic matter in soil Fossil fuels and sedimentary rock (limestone, dolomite, chalk) Oceans: dissolved in water, carbonate shells
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ENVST 110 Global Climate Change (Science) A Page 2 of 6 CH 4 (Methane) o Sources Wetlands (115Mt/yr) Termites (20Mt/yr) Oceans (10Mt/yr) Anthropogenic Mining and burning of fossil fuels (100Mt/yr) Ruminant animals (85 Mt/yr) Rice paddies (60Mt/yr) Biomass burning (40Mt/yr) Landfills (40Mt/yr) Other wastes (50Mt/yr) o
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