Greenhouse Gases and Greenhouse Effect - Research Article from World of Earth Science

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Absorption and Radiation at the Surface

Much of the solar radiation that penetrates to Earth's surface is absorbed by living and non-living materials. This results in a transformation to thermal energy, which increases the temperature of the absorbing surfaces. Over the medium term (days) and longer term (years) there is little net storage of energy as heat. This occurs because almost all of the thermal energy is re-radiated by the surface, as electromagnetic radiation of a longer wavelength than that of the original, incident radiation. The wavelength spectrum of typical, re-radiated electromagnetic energy from Earth's surface peaks at about 10 µm, which is within the long-wave infrared range.

Evaporation and Melting of Water

Some of the electromagnetic energy that penetrates to Earth's surface is absorbed and transformed to heat. Much of this thermal energy subsequently causes water to evaporate from plant and inorganic surfaces...

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This section contains 2,893 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Greenhouse Gases and Greenhouse Effect Encyclopedia Article
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Greenhouse Gases and Greenhouse Effect from World of Earth Science. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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