how do gases like co2 contribute to earth’s warming temperatures

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  • How does carbon dioxide affect the temperature of the Earth?

  • The bottom line is that atmospheric carbon dioxide acts as a thermostat in regulating the temperature of Earth, Lacis said. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has fully documented the fact that industrial activity is responsible for the rapidly increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

  • Why does carbon dioxide matter?

  • Why carbon dioxide matters. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas: a gas that absorbs heat. Warmed by sunlight, Earth鈥檚 land and ocean surfaces continuously radiate thermal infrared energy (heat).

  • What is the effect of CO2 on the environment?

  • This means that it causes an effect like the glass in a greenhouse, trapping heat and warming up the inside. This effect is important: without the CO 2 that naturally exists in the atmosphere, Earth might be too cold to support human life.

  • How do greenhouse gases affect Earth’s temperature?

  • In the case of greenhouse gases, the planet鈥檚 temperature is a balance between how much energy comes in versus how much energy goes out. Ultimately, any increase in the amount of heat-trapping means that the Earth鈥檚 surface gets hotter. (For a more advanced discussion of the thermodynamics involved, check out this NASA page .)

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