For the first time, researchers directly observed an increase in greenhouse effect due to carbon dioxide (CO2).
Scientists in the United States analyzed carbon dioxide’s increasing ability to absorb thermal radiation produced from Earth’s surface over 11 years at two separate locations. Research confirmed that emissions of carbon dioxide are warming the surface of the Earth.
The study, led by scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, shows that carbon dioxide was responsible for a 0.2 Watts/square meter increase throughout the span of 10 years. Their findings were published in the Nature journal.
According to researchers, an upward temperature trend is clearly related to increasing CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions.
In 2013, fossil fuels and the production of cement produced 35.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide, according to two international organizations.
“We’re strictly measuring the fact that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations are prompting the greenhouse effect. This is clear observational confirmation that when we add carbon dioxide to the environment, it will push the system to a warmer place,” says study lead author Dan Feldman at California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
To observe carbon dioxide contribution, researchers used spectroscopic instruments from the Atmosphere Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility. They also utilized two other instruments to observe CO2 contribution to heat by removing heat from clouds and water vapor.
“Numerous studies show rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but our study provides the critical link between those concentrations and the addition of energy to the system, or the greenhouse effect,” Feldman says.
China is the top contributor of greenhouse gases. The next position is held by United States.
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