Re: Global warming problems in homeschool text

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Fri Aug 19 2005 - 10:26:55 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel Moore" <>
To: "Glenn Morton" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Friday, August 19, 2005 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: Global warming problems in homeschool text

The theory behind global warming is actually pretty simple and goes
back to Arrhenius in the 1890s. CO2 traps more heat than most gases
and without the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere the earth would be a
lot cooler than the present. In essence, since that time people have
been trying to figure out how much things will change and warm up (or
perhaps cool in some regions, like northern Europe) as humans add CO2
to the atmosphere.

The basis is Wien's law (which can be gotten from the Planck distribution):
The wavelength where the spectrum peaks is inversely proportional to the
absolute temperature of the radiator. The sun is hotter than the earth (by
a factor ~20) & solar radiation can get through the greenhouse glass or
atmospeheric CO2 but the earth's re-radiation can't as easily. The physics
is simple. The tough questions are (a) is the global temperature rising? &
(b) if it is, how much does does CO2 & other gases we produce contribute to

Received on Fri Aug 19 10:28:58 2005

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