Understanding Earth’s Energy balance is essential to understanding the issue of global warming. For example, the solar Energy striking Earth’s surface averages 168 Watts per square Meter, but the energy leaving Earth’s surface averages 390 W/m^2. Why isn’t Earth cooling rapidly?
Ans: Due to the presence of atmosphere around the Earth, it helps to retain the energy leaving Earth’s surface. This greenhouse effect thus help in preventing the Earth from cooling rapidly by retaining heat.
Do you think the statement made by the cartoon is justified? Explain.
Ans: The statement is not justified. Global warming give rise to various type of extreme weather and also increase the frequency of such extreme weather condition. In recent decade, heavy rains and flooding are more frequent, heat waves are also much longer and hotter causing more drought. The cartoon only depicted one such extreme case of weather condition(harsh winter) without considering other cases such as drought. Thus, it is not justified.
One of the first radar devices developed during World War 2 used microwave radiation of a specific wave range that triggers the rotation of water molecules. Why was the design not successful?
Ans: Microwave of such specific wavelength that triggers the rotation of water molecules are readily absorbed by the water molecules. Hence, this might results in the some transmission being lost in the process. As such, the radar are unable to successfully transmit or receive all the data completely due to the absorption of the microwave radiation.
Now that you have studied air quality, stratospheric ozone depletion and global warming, which do you believe poses the most serious problem for you in the short run?? In the long run?
Ans: Air quality causes the most serious problem in the short run. One example is the emission of carbon monoxide from vehicles. The continuous inhalation of carbon monoxide can result in lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, global warming causes the most serious problem in the long run, as the effects of global warming are mostly irreversible. One example is the melting of icesheets in Antartica. Sea levels will continue to rise , which expose coastlines to more flooding and low-lying islands to be in great danger. Another example is the levels of carbon dioxide. As carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and it stays in the atmosphere for a long period of time, temperature will continue to rise in the next few decades, and can result in the extinction of certain species that could have a great impact on the ecological cycles.