Scientists, in a recent breakthrough study, claim that global warming isn’t just a theory that still needs study, it is an existing phenomenon that indeed affects the Earth’s temperature severely.
Led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the research time calculated the rising intensity of atmospheric carbon dioxide to absorb the heat given off by Earth’s surface over a period of 11 years.
The research is detailed in an article appearing Feb. 25 in the advance online issue of the journal Nature.
Lab tests and computer models have demonstrated that pumping huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere causes a greenhouse effect in which the heat which should be released into space is trapped by the earth’s atmosphere thanks to the heat-absorbing abilities of Carbon Dioxide. This was all just a statement, until scientists actually saw the process at work, confirming the theory to be true.
“We see, for the first time in the field, the amplification of the greenhouse effect because there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere to absorb what the Earth emits in response to incoming solar radiation,” said lead author Daniel Feldman, a scientist at the Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division, in the statement. “Numerous studies show rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but our study provides the critical link between those concentrations and the addition of energy to the system, or the greenhouse effect.”
The research made use of state-of-the-art high accuracy spectroscopic instruments which measure the thermal infrared energy that travels from the earth’s atmosphere to the surface. They were able to detect carbon dioxide due to its specific spectral signature.
“We measured radiation in the form of infrared energy,” explained Feldman. “Then we controlled for other factors that would impact our measurements, such as a weather system moving through the area.”
All in all, the team proved the theory to be true, meaning that increasing amounts of carbon dioxide prevents the thermal radiations from escaping into space so that earth absorbs more heat which it emits back into space.