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Updated: 10/27/2020
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Storyboard Text

  • Albedo is the measure of the fraction of light that is reflected by a body or a surface. In the atmosphere clouds have a high albedo. Here you can see that the yellow balls represent solar radiation, and since the clouds have high albedo, the solar radiation is reflected back up to space, and away from the earth.
  • On earth snow has a high albedo, when incoming solar radiation hits the snow it is reflected away from earth.
  • ozone layer
  • On earth, asphalt has a low albedo, this means that it absorbs the solar radiation rather than reflecting it, and that solar radiation becomes infrared energy which is represented with the red balls.
  • The ozone layer absorbs much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun
  • Radiation emitted by the earths surface is infrared radiation.
  • Visible light has a shorter wavelength and frequency, and infrared radiation has a longer wavelength and frequency. Therefor you can tell solar radiation emits more energy.
  • Solar radiation that reaches the surface is mostly visible light.
  • This blue ball represents Carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere and it absorbs some of the radiation emitted by the earth surface
  • AtmosphereSome of the radiation emitted by the earths surface goes into the Atmosphere.
  • When radiation re-emitted from the Earths surface comes in contact with greenhouse gasses, it gets absorbed and then re-emitted into a random direction, usually staying in the atmosphere longer. This causes the Earth's average temperature to go up.
  • This yellow ball represent the greenhouse gas - methane. This gas is in the atmosphere and it absorbs radiation emitted by the Earth
  • One way that nitrous oxide is produced, is fossil fuel combustion. This action releases a lot of nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. Above is an example.
  • One way that methane is produced is decomposition of waste in landfills. This action releases Methane into the atmosphere. Below is an example
  • One way carbon Dioxide is produced is by deforestation. This action causes lots of carbon dioxide to go out into the atmosphere. Below is an example of a deforseted area
  • Greenhouse gasses
  • It takes about 20,000 years for carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to peak. Before today, the concentration levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has never exceeded 300 parts per million within the last 800,000 years. You can conclude that the reason today's carbon dioxide levels are so high, is because of humans, and how our advancement in technology and modernization has caused us to emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. All this extra carbon dioxide, cause the infrared radiation emitted by the earth to stay around much longer, causing the average temperature of the earth to go up, because the extra greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are blocking the infrared radiation from leaving.
  • Because there are more greenhouse gasses, the infrared ratiotion (red circles) are staying in the atmosphere longer, and not leaving the green house gasses as you can see in the graph.
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