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5.2 - The Greenhouse Effect

5.2 - The Greenhouse Effect



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Published by IB Screwed
Notes for IB Biology on the greenhouse effect
Notes for IB Biology on the greenhouse effect

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: IB Screwed on Jun 13, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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5.2 - The Greenhouse Effect
5.2.1 - Draw and label a diagram of the carbon cycle to show the processes involved
Carbon can be found in four 'pools,' and moves between these four pools through a variety of biological, geochemical or industrial processes.
 - By terrestrial plants and algae in which atmospheric (and dissolved) carbon dioxide is removed and fixed as organic compounds such as carbohydrate, lipid and protein
 - This is done by all organisms in which they metabolise organic molecules, releasing carbon dioxide
 - The carbon of organic molecules is moved from one link in the food chain to another
 - Carbon, as organic molecules, becomes trapped in sediment as coal, gas and oil
 - This happens during the burning of fossil fuels and biomass
5.2.2 - Analyse the changes in concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide using historical records
The trends in atmospheric gases are studied as indicators of potential climate change. Those studied include carbon dioxide, methane and oxides of nitrogen, the greenhouse gases. In Mauna Loa,
atmospheric carbon dioxide
 has been studied since 1958. There are many other labs around the world these days, adding to the database of carbon dioxide levels. Carbon dioxide is released
 around the world, which is in part due to the distribution of vegetation. Therefore, collective data allows us to see what has happened after there is mixing of the atmospheric carbon dioxide. The basic trend is an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Longer term estimates of global CO
 levels have been determined by a variety of sources including gases trapped in ancient ice cores. Bubbles of atmospheric gases are trapped within the ice formed thousands of years ago. Taking cores of the ice and then analysing the gases allows CO
 levels to be determined. The temperature can be determined from the ratio of O
 to O
. From this, in has been concluded that there is a
clear correlation between atmospheric CO
 and temperature
. Of course, correlation does not mean causation.
5.2.3 - Explain the relationship between rises in concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, methane and oxides of nitrogen and the enhanced greenhouse effect
The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon that
creates moderate temperatures
 on Earth to which life has adapted. The Earth has relatively little CO
 in its atmosphere compared to planets like Venus. The enhanced greenhouse effect, however, is the idea that the activities of humans are increasing the levels of CO
 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This in turn may lead to
increased global temperatures
 and climate change. Gas molecules in our atmosphere with three or more atoms can capture outgoing infrared energy and warm the planet, and are called greenhouse gases. These include H
O, O
, CO
 and CH
. Chlorofluorocarbons, CFCs, also have a disproportionately large effect. The increase greenhouse gases means that
more infrared light will be absorbed
, scattered and retained as heat. The average global temperature will rise. The enhanced greenhouse effect is predicted to cause global climate changes, often referred to as global warming, although local effects may vary greatly.

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