Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Attribution of Global Warming
Jun-Ki Choi & Bhavik R. Bakshi
ATTRIBUTION OF GLOBAL warming refers to the recent effort to scientifically prove the cause of the warming effect. Many factors can cause changes in the Earth's heat balance, and changes large enough to cause major episodes of warming and cooling have taken place many times in the Earth's past. One cause of change of great concern to scientists is the amount of heat-absorbing gas in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, water vapor, and several secondary gases absorb thermal infrared radiation released from the Earth's surface and the lower atmosphere. Greenhouse effect is the phrase for when a planet's atmosphere and surface are warmed by the absorption and emission of infrared radiation of atmospheric gases. When absorption takes place, the gas molecules take on heat and air temperature rises. If the atmosphere is heavy with water vapor and carbon dioxide, then heat tends to be retained in roughly the same way 2 ...