Lecture%205%20answers

Lecture%205%20answers - Answers to study questions Lecture...

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Answers to study questions 1. What is the primary contributor to the human-induced increase in CO 2 concentration that has occurred over the past ca. 200 years? Answer: Prior to the industrial revolution, the primary source of fuel in human societies was the burning of wood. Wood is a renewable resource (that is: the CO 2 that is released when wood is burned is eventually re-captured from the atmosphere by photosynthetic activity as the cut forest re-grows). As part of the industrial revolution (which began in the late 1700’s, and accelerated in the mid- 1800’s), human societies started to burn ‘non-renewable’ fuels, coal initially and then oil, as the primary sources of energy. The CO 2 that is released into the atmosphere by burning coal and oil is not re-captured (at least not fully) by growing plants. 2. How does CO 2 in the atmosphere contribute to the warming of the planet? Answer: Much of the solar radiation from the sun comes the form of visible light (wavelengths of 400-700 nm). CO 2 does not absorb in these wavelengths, and thus the visible light mostly penetrates the earth’s atmosphere, and reaches the surface
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Lecture%205%20answers - Answers to study questions Lecture...

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