Some important basic science that explains how just a few hundred molecules of CO2 among every million molecules in the atmosphere can have a powerful warming effect.
Every sixth grader today knows that carbon dioxide causes global warming. Or at least every sixth grader outside the United States knows this. But why is carbon dioxide a green house gas? I tried to answer this question with the help of an infographic (see above).
From a chemical point of view, heat is motion of molecules and atoms. The more movement is happening on a molecular level, the more heat we feel on a human level (also called macroscopic level). Carbon dioxide is a molecule that is very good at this kind of movement, you could say it is a very athletic molecule. All molecules and atoms in any gas are able to move in all directions in space, but carbon dioxide can even carry out certain movements inside the molecule. These movements are called vibrations. Carbon dioxide can carry out three different vibrations, the symmetric stretch, the asymmetric…
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