Illustration of Greenhouse Effect: solar radiation

Illustration of Greenhouse Effect: solar radiation

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This image is part of the feature Keeling

Credit: MICHAEL GILBERT/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration of the "greenhouse effect". The build-up of certain gases in Earth's immediate atmosphere - the trophosphere - traps an increased amount of solar radiation & leads to a gradual warming of the whole planet. Here, a polluted trophosphere is represented by the purple band, allowing only a small fraction of re-radiated solar energy (yellow arrows) to return to space. The "greenhouse" gases (chiefly carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide & methane) are generated by a wide range of human activities. Global warming is expected to cause massive changes in weather patterns, resulting in floods, droughts & drastic shifts in global food production.

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Keywords: atmosphere, climatic change, earth science, earth warming, earth's, greenhouse effect, of earth, sciences, warming

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