Is it possible to measure the actual amount of 'greenhouse gasses' there are in the atmosphere?
If it is possible to measure the actual amount of 'greenhouse gasses' there are in the atmosphere, does anyone know of a reputable website (such as a uni or official org) where they show the accurate figures? Thank you.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Yes, it is done on a regular basis and the results are fairly frightening. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, for example, has increased by 30% since the 18th century, whilst levels of methane have more than doubled. Water vapour, whilst not directly released by man-made processes in substantial quantities, may be increasing as a result of climate feedback effects.
In addition to the man-made increase of naturally occurring greenhouse gases, mankind has released some completely new chemicals into the atmosphere, including the CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons. Although these have now been banned in an attempt to save the ozone layer, they will remain in the atmosphere for at least another 50 years. Although their abundance in the atmosphere is very low, molecule for molecule they can be thousands of times better at absorbing heat than carbon dioxide, and consequently contribute significantly to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Furthermore, their replacements, the HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) and HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), whilst being relatively harmless to the ozone layer, are equally potent greenhouse gases, and at present their phase-out dates are not due for another 20 to 30 years.
Unless you're heavily invested in real estate in Antartica, you should be very, very upset by these numbers.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Yes--in fact it's a routine measurement. Try nasa.gov--they do a lot of the climate change research. If they don't have what your looking for, they have links to other reliable sites. Also livescience.org (I think its .org--or .com)