AS101hw13 - will absorb the infrared range of that spectrum...

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J.I. AS101 Reading Question Chapter 10 #4 6/14/07 4. What does the greenhouse effect do to a planet? Explain the role of greenhouse gases and describe the basic mechanism of the greenhouse effect. The process of the greenhouse effect is that a certain amount of visible light is let through an atmosphere, some is reflected but a portion gets down to the surface. This light heats the surface among other things. Much of the visible light then reflects back out through the atmosphere. On planets without much of an atmosphere almost all the light reflects off the surface as well as much of the heat that that light provides. The difference with terrestrial atmospheric planets is that the presence of certain gasses, greenhouse gases,
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Unformatted text preview: will absorb the infrared range of that spectrum and then send a photon out of its own in a random direction. This happens repeatedly between the particles of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as the photons bounce around they also heat the gases and overall raise the surface temperature in the process. If the Earth were without an atmosphere with as much greenhouse gas as we do have, the average surface temperature (just based off of how far we are from the Sun and the energy we would receive and then promptly lose into space) would be around positive three degrees Fahrenheit....
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This document was uploaded on 04/06/2008.

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