Greenhouse Gas Abundance Changes

Greenhouse Gas - Greenhouse Gas Abundance Changes More greenhouse gases in the atmosphere usually mean more infrared energy is trapped close to the

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Greenhouse Gas Abundance Changes More greenhouse gases in the atmosphere usually mean more infrared energy is trapped close to the planet's surface. A warmer surface can lead to increased evaporation or sublimation (ice directly to vapor) and therefore increase the surface air pressure. On the Earth, the increased amount of water vapor would further amplify the greenhouse effect from carbon dioxide and methane. Decreased greenhouse gases usually mean cooler temperatures and if the cooling is great enough (as found on Mars, for example), a drop in atmospheric pressure as gases freeze. Note that I inserted the word "usually" in the expected trends as a warming planet from increased greenhouse gas abundance could have increased cloud cover which may dampen or delay the warming because of the increased albedo. Clouds and dust ( aerosols ) create the largest uncertainties in our current climate models. Aerosols are very small droplets of material or particles suspended in the atmosphere like dust and sulfuric acid droplets but are not water
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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