Carbon Dioxide’s Greenhouse Effect Confirmed

Scientists, working for the Department of Energy’s ARM (Atmospheric Radiation Measurement) Program, have for the first time observed an increase in carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect at the Earth’s surface (Nature Article, 2015). The research was conducted using data from the ARM Climate Research Facility.

The data was used by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists who measured atmospheric carbon dioxide’s increasing capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from Earth’s surface (Nature Article, 2015). This data was collected over an 11-year period at ARM research sites in Oklahoma and Alaska. The researchers attributed this increasing trend to rising carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuel emissions (Nature Article, 2015).

These results are imperative to supporting the theoretical predictions of the greenhouse effect due to human activity. It had not been previously experimentally confirmed outside of the laboratory until now. It also confirms the calculations used in today’s climate models as properly representing the impact of carbon dioxide.

Scientists measured radiation in the form of infrared energy (Nature Article, 2015). Check out the video for a visual representation. The video, using two time-series of data, shows carbon dioxide’s increasing greenhouse effect from the Southern Great Plains and North Slope of Alaska (Nature Article, 2015). Very different climates, but similar results.

This information is important to supporting the theoretical predictions that greenhouse effects are due to human activity.

“Nature Article: Carbon Dioxide’s Greenhouse Effect at Earth’s Surface Confirmed Using ARM Data.” Jundt R, media contact. ARM. U.S. Department of Energy, 25 Feb. 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2015. <http://www.arm.gov/news/features/post/32853&gt;.

Featured Image Source

Funded by DOE Atmospheric System Research program

Read more in this ARM article – with scientist commentary

Journal Article is available via Nature now!

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