CO2 – An Insignificant Trace Gas? Part Five

The Science of Doom


Part One of the series introduced the shortwave radiation from the sun, the balancing longwave radiation from the earth and the absorption of some of that longwave radiation by various “greenhouse” gases. The earth would be a cold place without the “greenhouse” gases.

Part Two discussed the factors that determine the relative importance of the various gases in the atmosphere.

Part Three and Four got a little more technical – an unfortunate necessity. Part Three introduced Radiative Transfer Equations including the Beer-Lambert Law of absorption. It also introduced the important missing element in many people’s understanding of the role of CO2 – re-emission of radiation as the atmosphere heats up.

Part Four brought in band models. These are equations which quite closely match the real absorption of CO2 (and the other greenhouse gases) as a function of wavelength. They aren’t strictly necessary to get to the final…

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