The carbon cycle and the greenhouse effect

Carbon Sinks Green House Effect

Three of the principal greenhouse gases CO2, methane CH4 and the CFCs contain carbon, one of the most common elements in the environment, and one which plays a major role in the greenhouse effect. It is present in all organic substances, and is a constituent of a great variety of compounds, ranging from relatively simple gases to very complex derivatives of petroleum hydrocarbons. The carbon in the environment is mobile, readily changing its affiliation with other elements in response to...

Nuclear war and the ozone layer

When a modern thermonuclear device is exploded in the atmosphere, so much energy is released, so rapidly, that the normally inert atmospheric nitrogen combines with oxygen to produce quantities of oxides of nitrogen NOx . The rapid heating of the air also sets up strong convection currents which carry the gases and other debris into the stratosphere, and it is there that most of the NOx is deposited. Since natural NOx is known to destroy ozone, it is only to be expected that the...

Oceanic And Atmospheric Circulation Patterns

Eartj Atmospheric Circulation

More than half of the solar radiation reaching the earth's surface is absorbed by the oceans, where it is stored and redistributed, before being released back into the atmosphere. Ocean and atmosphere are quite intimately linked. The prevailing winds in the atmospheric circulation, for example, drive water across the ocean surface at speeds of less than 5 km per hour, in the form of broad, relatively shallow drifts. In some cases, they carry warm water polewards, in others, they carry cooler...