Friday, February 14, 2014

CO2 Saturation Myth

I contributed to yet another explanation of the greenhouse effect with this post on Skeptical Science: How do we know the greenhouse effect is not saturated? I highly recommend the Skeptical Science post for those wishing to understand the behavior of the greenhouse effect. I say "behavior" because the post is not trying to explain the complete physics, which is a daunting task.

This illustration I created came about from criticism and humor. The reviewers of my illustration criticized the early sketches that showed the water tank as it is shown below, but with the Earth's surface down and energy loss shown as radiating upward -- which is how most of us think about the Earth and atmosphere: Down is Earth, up is space. The criticism was that the two illustrations had opposite directions of flow, and could I find some way to make the flow direction consistent to aid comprehension. So, in a bit of jest, since the website is Australian and I'm from the northern hemisphere, I turned the Earth and atmosphere upside down, and labeled the surface Australia. They liked it, so here it is:

See the original post for a complete explanation written by Skeptical Science author Glenn Tamblyn.


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