IBDP-Geography-topic 3
Patterns in Environmental Quality and Sustainability
üThe Atmospheric energy budget
ü Green House Effect and Global Warming
ü Soil and land degradation
ü Water scarcity
ü Sanitation
ü Biodiversity and change


We live in a greenhouse

Greenhouse effect is necessary for the sustenance of life on earth. Solar radiation is the main source of energy on the Earth. About 50% of the light (mainly short wave radiation) reaching Earth's atmosphere passes through the air and clouds to the surface, where it is absorbed and then radiated upward in the form of long-wave infrared heat. About 90 percent of this heat is then absorbed by the greenhouse gases like Carbon dioxide, water vapour, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and radiated back toward the surface and this is how the Earth is warmed to a life-supporting average of 15 degrees Celsius.

What is global warming?Is the progressive or intensified warming up of the earth and its atmosphere beyond a critical limit due to enhanced green house effect that can not be balanced out by the natural energy budget of the Earth. It is causing because of the rising level of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Green house gases like water vapour, carbon dioxide, Methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons etc. allow the shortwave radiation from the sun to pass through the atmosphere but trap a significant portion of the long wave radiation from the earth by producing a blanketing effect.
What does global climate change indicate?The changes in the global pattern of rainfall and temperature mainly caused by the enhanced greenhouse effect and the consequent changes in sea level, habitat, incidence of droughts, floods and storms.


Click here to see NASA's interactive climate time machine
Visualizations to show how some of Earth's key climate indicators are changing over time



Introduction to climate change
Vital Signs and causes of Global climate change: Analyses
by NASA





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