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The Greenhouse Effect vs. Blackbodies vs. Global Warming?

  1. Jun 25, 2011 #1
    Can anyone explain what the right approach to this stuff is? It's an area I am largely ignorant about.

    According to the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, the Earth should be -18C. Obviously, this isn't true because the Earth isn't a blackbody. But my questions:

    1. Why isn't the Earth technically a blackbody?
    2. Do gases like CO2 really play a role?
    3. How does atmosphere factor into all this?
    4. Is there a difference between greenhouse effect and global warming?
    5. What about the moon -- which has no atmosphere? How do we account for the differences we see in the Law vs. what we observe?
    6. Do we really see a global warming problem on our hands or is it just fearmongering?
    7. What technically explains the temperatures we see?
    8. Is it correct to say the Earth is a great absorber but poor emitter?

    I feel like this is a lot like the evolution "debate" where people have a lot of misconceptions (it's absolutely true and we don't need a God to explain it, same goes for abiogenesis models). I'd like to be on the correct side of understanding the greenhouse effect, too. I know it's a misnomer, but why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2011 #2
    My understanding is that PF does not have the resources for (potential) global-warming discussions, and the policy is to not allow them.
  4. Jun 25, 2011 #3
    Why aren't they allowed? Is the understanding of the issue not very fleshed out yet? Is it still debatable? I thought it was akin to the evolution debate where there really IS a "right answer" but people just skew the facts and understanding.
  5. Jun 25, 2011 #4

    I like Serena

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  6. Jun 25, 2011 #5
    Someone else will have a definitive answer shortly, I'm sure.

    If I'm correct, it's because the discussions get fleshed out way past the ability or patience of the experts to deal with. I've seen these debates elsewhere and they always turn into a mess.
  7. Jun 25, 2011 #6
    Argh! Why is it so impossible to find definitive answers on this subject without sifting through a bunch of crackpottery and garbage? Can anyone direct me to good resources, then, before this thread is locked?
  8. Jun 25, 2011 #7
    I cannot. E-mail someone here with some credentials and perhaps they can direct you.
  9. Jun 25, 2011 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    Locked. Please take a look at the PF Rules, everyone.
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