Besides having the ability to absorb and radiate heat, Carbon dioxide is also known as a greenhouse gas. It is transparent to the naked eye and acts as a natural absorber of infrared radiation. The molecules of carbon dioxide are bonded to two oxygen atoms.
Carbon dioxide absorbs and radiates heat
Generally speaking, carbon dioxide is one of the most important greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared heat from Earth and reflects some of the energy back down, thus warming Earth.
In order to understand why CO2 is a good absorber, let’s look at the chemistry behind the greenhouse effect. While nitrogen does not absorb infrared light, major amounts of the gas do. Oxygen, on the other hand, steals electrons from another atom. When the two gases combine, ozone is formed.
Greenhouse gases can remain in the atmosphere for years or even centuries. Their effect is like a blanket that traps heat in the atmosphere. They are also constantly being exchanged between the ocean and land surfaces. This causes the concentration of CO2 to fluctuate. Some excess CO2 is quickly absorbed by the ocean surface.
It absorbs heat from the sun
Several factors play a role in the amount of heat that gets reradiated from the Earth’s surface. These include cloud cover, temperature and the concentration of greenhouse gases.
The Earth absorbs part of the sun’s radiant energy and re-radiates a portion as infrared radiation. The resulting heat is then released into space, but some is retained by the atmosphere.
The visible wavelengths of the sun’s rays are easily transmitted through the air, but the infrared radiation is a little more complicated. The Earth’s atmosphere has a number of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane and ozone. These gas molecules act as heat traps, blocking outfrared radiation while letting in the more energy-efficient ultraviolet and visible wavelengths.
Carbon dioxide is a very effective absorber of infrared radiation. It can hold more heat energy than a non-greenhouse gas molecule, and is able to absorb light at wavelengths close to the principal absorption band.
It absorbs heat from your blood
Considering the amount of carbon dioxide you breathe, the aforementioned squillion isn’t quite the same as the ol’ ole. Luckily, the CO-laden air has a decidedly human dominated composition. The aforementioned ol’ ole is augmented by a host of other molecules, some of which are of more dubious provenance. In short, there’s a lot of sludge to get at, but it’s a good thing – a good time is always in order! If you’ve got a spare few minutes to spare, you’re bound to be impressed by all of it. For more information, read up on our e-newsletter or call one of our knowledgeable experts!
It absorbs heat from your indoor air quality
Despite its relative rarity, CO2 is an effective heat-trapping greenhouse gas that has a major role in the global warming puzzle. The best way to combat this is by controlling your carbon emissions. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to go about this.
Using the proper ventilation in your home or office is an easy first step, but it’s not the only route to take. The key to reducing carbon emissions is to be informed and to make your best choices. It’s no secret that we humans are prone to making mistakes, and that we’re also prone to being lazy. With that in mind, taking the time to read up on your emissions can help you make a more informed decision about the future of your home or office.
It causes global warming
Increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere have always been linked to an increase in global temperature. However, scientists were beginning to question the validity of the greenhouse effect.
By the mid-1970s, researchers in a variety of fields began investigating greenhouse effects. These scientists did not always interact. They rarely referred to the climate system in public. Instead, they worked on their own subjects.
As the research field grew, the scope of its work expanded to include thousands of locations around the world. These sites measured the air, trees, soils, and seawater. The results were analyzed by powerful computers to verify the greenhouse effect.
In the early years of the research, scientists did not have reliable ways to measure the atmosphere millions of years ago. There was also no consensus on the causes of climate shifts.
Founded in 2009, SQM Club has helped members save 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 from the air. The organization has a global reach with offices in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It has also partnered with state agencies and private companies to address environmental issues.