Collisional Heating in the Atmosphere

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Carbon dioxide is one of the best known and most important greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere. This visualization will give you a molecular-level view of how the interaction of infrared (IR) radiation with molecules causes tropospheric warming. Begin by moving the diamond-shaped bar across the IR spectrum. Stop at various places, including the two absorption peaks for CO2. What effect do IR photons have in each region? Select different greenhouse gases with the 'Gas' menu. Use the 'Options' menu to change what is displayed. The 'Low' video setting is recommended for tablets and phones.
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Name:Collisional Heating in the Atmosphere
Version/Date:Version 1.0.1, 10/05/2016
Authors:Andrew Martin, Dr. Brian Martin, Dr. Peter Mahaffy, Katrina Genuis, Darren Eymundson, Theo Keeler, Marc-Olivier Lajeunesse, Tyler deBoon
Produced By The King's Center For Visualization in Science


When a molecule is excited it can relax back to ground state by simulated or spontaneous emission of radiation. We have removed both of these processes to simplify the simulation, although they happen in the atmosphere.