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GLOBAL WARMING: greenhouse gases & climate change graphics: methane CH4, carbon dioxide CO2, and water molecules H2O, in the atmosphere

greenhouse gas molecules: carbon dioxide, methane and water above an icy landscape

(above) greenhouse gases image #1: picture showing molecules of water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) with beams of sunlight passing through the molecules and infrared radiation being radiated from the Earth and then absorbed and re-emitted by some of the greenhouse gas molecules, thereby trapping some heat. This image is 400 pixels across, the original image is 2048 pixels across and lacks all labels.

greenhouse gas molecules: carbon dioxide, methane and water above an icy landscape

(above) greenhouse gases image #2: picture showing molecules of water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) against an icy looking background. This image is 500 pixels across, the original image is 2048 pixels across and lacks all labels.

KEY:
  • red spheres = oxygen (O) atoms drawn at approximately their covalent radius
  • green spheres = hydrogen (H) atoms drawn at approximately their covalent radius
  • grey spheres = carbon (C) atoms drawn at approximately their covalent radius
  • bright blue surrounding bubble = "surface" of the WATER molecules
  • bright yellow surrounding bubble = "surface" of the METHANE molecules
  • bright purple surrounding bubble = "surface" of the CARBON DIOXIDE molecules

EXPLANATION OF GREENHOUSE (GLOBAL WARMING) IMAGES: Greenhouse gases allow in the inward passage of high energy rays from the sun but they absorb the lower energy infrared radiation that is then emitted from the warmed Earth. This is analogous to the way a greenhouse (or glasshouse) warms up (the glass allows in the suns rays but then traps the heat inside). These gases are important to keep the Earth at a reasonable temperature but the concern is that the amount of some of them (notably CO2 and CH4) is increasing and that this will lead to an increase in the Earth's temperature with consequent climatic changes. Predicting what will happen requires complex computer modelling but the scientific consensus seems to be that we are warming up.

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GLOBAL WARMING POSTERS
Striking greenhouse gas molecules. Great for schools, colleges and environmental groups.

LINKS TO MAJOR GREENHOUSE GAS MOLECULAR IMAGES:



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