The heat budget, and hence the climate of the Earth, is sensitive to changes in the atmospheric greenhouse gas composition. Next to water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important atmospheric greenhouse gas affecting the Earth's radiative balance. Greenhouse gases raise the mean temperature of the Earth by absorbing and trapping long-wave radiation from the planet surface that would otherwise be lost to space.




URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bio_fac/226