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Logical steps of climate change

  1. Dec 10, 2016 #1
    There are two ideas:

    (1) C02 is increasing.

    (2) The global temperature is increasing

    I am looking for the specific mechanism (most likely an equation / theories of physics) which climate scientists use to connect (1) and (2) together, and infer that (1) causes (2).

    I am looking for the math / science that explains how a rise in C02 can cause a rise in global temperature.

    I wonder if you might be able to clearly explain this to me in quite basic terms, and direct me to a source that explains it in greater depth?

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What have you found from your research so far? From the PF rules on Global Warming discussions:
    So we need some peer-reviewed references to be able to discuss this. If you are not able to link to any, perhaps someone else can help you out with links... :smile:
  4. Dec 10, 2016 #3
    Hi there :)

    Thanks for the reply.

    I have starting reading about radiative forcing and the greenhouse effect, and am trying to put this into context (a logical chain of cause - effect). If you could direct me to the mainstream (popular) peer-reviewed references, that would be great!

    If you could also direct me to the popular (peer reviewed) graphs / models which show CO2 in relation to Global Temp., even better!

  5. Dec 10, 2016 #4
    CO2 and also other gases absorb infra red radiation emitted by the Earth, hence more of these gases present in the atmosphere causes it to become warmer.
    Without any of these gases the Earth would be a drastically colder place, but too much is bad as well.
    That CO2 has this property of absorbing IR was established before anyone made a connection with global climate change.
    I don't know what the first experimental proof was that CO2 absorbs infrared, but it's easy to demonstrate.
    Here's a video using simple equipment that makes the point.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  6. Dec 10, 2016 #5
    This is great. Thanks.

    Does this experiment relate to a math / physics equation (fundamental classical gas theory)?
  7. Dec 10, 2016 #6
    Radiative forcing and climate response
    This was one of the first papers that helped shape the current climate change model.
    Other papers can be found in http://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/hub/jgr/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)2169-8996/ (Journal of Geophysical Research--Atmospheres)

    Radiative forcing at high concentrations of well-mixed greenhouse gases
    This is open-access and one of a few hundred papers in Geophysical Research Letters http://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/hub/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1944-8007/
  8. Dec 10, 2016 #7
    Aren't you just demonstrating boyles law here? Pressure in the bottle increases due to the addition of co2 hence the temperature rises
  9. Dec 11, 2016 #8


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    No, Boyle's law just has to do with the pressure vs volume, and assumes that the temperature is constant. The gas law involving pressure and temperature is Gay-Lussac's law, which states that the ratio of the pressure over the temperature is the same before and after heating/cooling a gas.

    In any case, those gas laws are not valid when the number of gas molecules is changing, such as right after the tablets are dropped into the water and begin to fizz. You would have to look at the system once the number of gas molecules reaches a steady state or use another gas law (or combination of laws) which is more complicated.
  10. Dec 13, 2016 #9
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2016
  11. Jun 22, 2017 #10
    Interesting point of view. What about (2) causes (1)? There is no correlation between these two as far as some of these links states, but it can seriously make you wonder if you read about climate feedback loop..
  12. Jun 22, 2017 #11


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    Oh? I was under the impression that increased temperatures decreased the amount of CO2 diffused in seawater, leading to a rise in atmospheric CO2.
  13. Jun 22, 2017 #12

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    @Solomei - do you have a citation to back up those assertions? It would help us a lot. And the search you want to make to answer your two questions is 'Greenhouse effect' - use wikipedia or NASA websites, anyplace else you may get political answers not scientific ones.

    Methane and CO2 and some others are so-called greenhouse gases.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect Please read the whole article.
  14. Jun 23, 2017 #13


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