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Discussion > Greenhouse Defect.

Who are the baddies?

Jun 4, 2017 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMcNeil
Jun 4, 2017 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMcNeil

This comes from the fact that carbon dioxide, a gas which is invisible, odourless and tasteless, allows radiated energy to pass on through it while the much more common nitrogen and oxygen do not.
Erm… I think that this is the wrong way round – CO2 does NOT allow radiated energy to pass through, while N2 and O2 DO.

Jun 4, 2017 at 10:50 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Jun 4, 2017 at 10:50 PM by Radical Rodent

I think you are right when talking about the infrared. Any molecule (with more than one atom :) ) can absorb and re-emit another photon, but not necessarily in the infrared.

Jun 4, 2017 at 11:03 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher


IR does pass through. There is a reaction after which other events can occur. In certain circumstances, the raised energy state can endure for a period and energy is then absorbed. At radiative equilibrium, all photons are, essentially, just passing through. N or O do not react in this way.

From my reference (ii) which illustrates the point about about time.

Jun 5, 2017 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterMcNeil