Sep 17, 2008 · 1

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Plastic Not-So-Fantastic: How the Versatile Material …

The reason for the difference is that the Earth's atmosphere contains molecules that absorb infrared radiation. They do not absorb the visible radiation coming in from the sun, so the Earth gets its full share of that. But a fraction of the infrared emitted by the Earth is absorbed by these molecules which then reemit it, frequently back to the Earth. That is what provides the extra heating. This is also the process that warms the plants in a greenhouse — the glass roof does not absorb the visible light coming in from the sun, but the infrared radiation emitted from the plants is absorbed by the glass and much of it is radiated back to the plants. That is how the process got its name — greenhouse effect. It is also the cause of automobiles getting hot when parked in the sun; the incoming visible radiation passes through the glass windows, while the infrared emitted from the car's interior is absorbed by the glass and much of it is emitted back into the interior.

Acid Rain - University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
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Glossary of Environmental Terms - California …

The importance of this greenhouse effect has become a public issue because of the recent abnormally hot summers accompanied by droughts that have severely reduced our agricultural output. Averaged over the Earth, the five warmest years in the past century have been in the 1980s, this despite the facts that the sun's energy output has been below normal and that there has been major volcanic activity, which would ordinarily reduce temperatures as explained above. Whether or not this recent abnormally warm weather is a manifestation of the increasing greenhouse effect is somewhat debatable, but unquestionably the greenhouse effect will become important sooner or later if we continue to use fossil fuels. There is, therefore, a strong consensus in both the scientific and environmentalist communities that the greenhouse effect should be given high-priority attention.

Environmental Quotes, by catetgory - Grinning Planet
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Much has been said and written about environmental problems with nuclear power, and they will be discussed at great length in this book. But in this chapter, we consider the wide variety of environmental problems in burning fossil fuels — coal, oil, and gas. They probably exceed those of any other human activity. The ones that have received the most publicity in recent years have been the "greenhouse effect," which is changing the Earth's climate; acid rain, which is destroying forests and killing fish; and air pollution, which is killing tens of thousands of American citizens every year, while making tens of millions ill and degrading our quality of life in other ways. We will discuss each of these in turn, and then summarize some of the other problems that have drawn lesser attention. But first we must begin with some basics.

To find environmental quotes by category, use the subject index
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