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Gases, including Water Vapor
More than 99% of the lower atmosphere is made up of three gases, not counting water vapor (Table 1.1 of text). The three major gases are:
Nitrogen - 78%
Oxygen - 21%.
Argon - 1%
Some of the gases that occur in small amounts and that vary from place to place are of greatest interest. Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Methane, and Ozone are gases we hear about in terms of air pollution, global warming and the green house effect. All of these gases account for a small fraction of the atmosphere gases.
Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas. It constitutes 80% of the total warming effect.
Others include: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and several other gases present in the atmosphere in small amounts also contribute to the greenhouse effect.
Clouds have both cooling and
warming effects on Earth's surface.
Some clouds help cool the Earth, but other
clouds help keep Earth warm in part depending
on how high up they are in our atmosphere.
High, wispy clouds actually keep Earth warm, like a blanket, by preventing heat from escaping into space.
Low clouds have a net cooling effect, because they have a high albedo, and being nearly as warm as the surface, they emit nearly as much infrared radiation to space as would the surface.
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of 2 oxygen atoms each covalently double
bonded to a single carbon atom.
Photosynthesis is a process
used by plants and other organisms to
convert light energy, normally from the
sun, into chemical energy that can be
later released to fuel the organisms' activities.
CO2 is not a pollutant.
'To suddenly label CO2 as a "pollutant" is a
disservice to a gas that has played an enormous
role in the development and sustainability of
all life on Earth. .....CO2 is not a pollutant.'
-Robert Balling, as quoted by Popular Technology
Then I will give you rain in due season,
and the land shall yield her increase,
and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.