Report: CO2 Warming Up Earth And Making Greenhouse Effect Worse
Greenhouses are increasing over the Earth's surface area and CO2 is the prime factor, suggests the first direct observation. The observation backs the hypothesis that was developed by computer designs and lab experiments, years ago.
"We're actually measuring the fact that rising carbon dioxide concentrations are leading to the greenhouse effect," said the study lead author Dan Feldman at California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "This is clear observational evidence that when we add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, it will push the system to a warmer place."
Scientists used the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility to make these observations. They also used other instruments to watch the CO2 impact on the increase.
"We determined that rising CO2 concentrations are the major cause of the greenhouse effect. It is a clear observational proof that when we release CO2 into the atmosphere, it pushes the thermal radiation to a warmer place," Feldman added.
"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," says Daniel Feldman, lead author of the paper with the title "Observational Determination of Surface Radiative Forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010″.
"Numerous studies show rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, but our study provides the critical link between those concentrations and the addition of energy to the system, or the greenhouse effect," Feldman further added.
"We measured radiation in the form of infrared energy. Then we controlled for other factors that would impact our measurements, such as a weather system moving through the area."
Researchers will continue their studies to see what other greenhouse gases such as methane are contributing to global warming.