How Greenhouse Gases Work – Why we Should Care about CO2


Ahhh Ahh Acho, Excuse me so today I’m going to be
following up on that last video about the greenhouse effect and how the Earth
observes the sunlight that comes in as visible light and radiates it off into the
atmosphere and in the atmosphere the greenhouse gases absorb this infrared
light and then radiate it either into space or back down at the earths surface to be
obsorbed again what makes a greenhouse gas why do they have such a big impact
especially if the majority of our atmosphere is composed of nitrogen oxygen about 78%
nitrogen and 20% oxygen that only leaves 2% left over so what did greenhouse
gases do they absorb the heat radiated off of Earths surface and then radiate it back
out themselves and this radiation will either go back into the earth’s surface and then radate it back out into the atmosphere and into other greenhouse gas molecules or out into space so how do
these molecules absorb heat first let’s start with how they move asymmetric stretch a
bending vibration and a symmetric stretch and each one of these different atoms
and molecules have either a positive or negative charge and when these molecules
move with either an asymmetric strech bending movement it creates a dipole and this
is a charge difference and this charge difference creates resistance with the
electro magnetic waves that are light and infrared radiation and the reason why
nitrogen and oxygen won’t absorb heat like the greenhouse gases is because
they’re always going to have a symmetric stretch so there’s never going to be any
difference between the charges so what are some different greenhouse gases we
have water vapor which is produced from many things like one of them is when
plants photosynthesize and then we have methane which is produced in
anaerobic conditions that are created and things such as wetlands or animals
digestive systems and then there’s also ozone which we can
find in the stratosphere but is not so nice when we find in the troposphere and
then their is co2 the most talked about one that can be produced in many different
ways from just us breathing and resperating to fossil fuel combustion each one of these gases has different
varying magnitudes when it comes to trapping heat into our atmosphere and there’s
a couple of different things to take into consideration one is how many atoms the
molecule has to move like methane has four different hydrogen atom surrounding
a carbon which grants it a lot of freedom to move around and then co2 can
only had the bending in the asymmetric stretched to absorb heat and another thing
to consider is at what quantity there found in the atmosphere if there is more of these
than that one’s going to have a much greater effect the other thing that affects the
magnitude of heat these molecules can observe is how long its lifetime is within
the atmosphere if it’s gone really click that doesn’t have much time to stick
around to do anything but if it hangs out for we’re going to see a greater
impact from it can you guess which one has the greatest magnitude water vapor
so if water vapor has one of the greatest effects what’s all this talk
about co2 why shouldn’t we be more concerned with reducing water vapor
we have giant oceans that are constantly interacting with the air we have plants that are photosynthesizing and producing water water vapor has a very short lifetime in the
atmosphere co2 can have a lifetime in the
atmosphere of about a hundred years and it’s gonna hang out there until it can react
out so some ways it comes out of the atmosphere is rain and weathering
sequestering into the ocean and photosynthesis why does water vapor have
this short lifetime falls out of the atmosphere rain and snow sometimes we get to see fog it’s pretty neat
so how do we know when it is time to rain it’s when the air gets saturated with water what does that
mean saturation is when the atmosphere just cannot hold any more water and any
further evaporation is going to lead to precipitation such as rain or snow now the
saturation point can change if we have a higher temperature our atmosphere can hold
more water and if we have a lower temperature our atmospheric will hold less
water and it isn’t quite as simple as as we have higher and higher temperatures
the saturation point will get harder to reach and there is a point where the
saturation point it won’t be reached and and the water will not convert into liquid
and it will stay in the atmosphere as gas but we don’t have to worry about
this on earth because we’re not operating at that high of a temperature so this
process of the atmosphere being saturated and then the water falling out
is called the negative feedback what is a negative feedback while when you have
an input like temperature and a system that’s going to
stabilize it for instance a thermostat thermostats work by being so to a
certain temperature 72 degrees 69 degrees and whenever the room gets too
hot it will kick on the AC and when the room gets too cold it will turn on your heater and warm you back up again so going back to the water cycle you have
your water vapor as your input and your cards and rain as your stabilizer when
there’s too much water falls out of the sky and it has to happen all over again
so going back to the question why does CO2 to matter the more CO2 there is the the greater the temperature will be the greater the temperature is the more
water vapor in the atmosphere more water vapor in the atmosphere the more
greenhouse gases there are acting the more greenhouse gases acting the warmer it’s going to be this is why we care about co2 because we can
have some control over it because we can make that choice between using of fossil
fuel and renewable energy or some other method thanks for watching my video and
I hope you check back later or subscribe if you’d like to hear more from me let
me know if you have any questions in the comment section below I will try to answer them and also let me
know if you have any things that you’d like to share discussed in future it is
planning on talking about these things right here don’t use them

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