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Carbon Dioxide Definition

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that absorbs infrared light. For example, burning fossil fuels increases atmospheric carbon dioxide, raising Earth's temperature.

View Lesson on Intro to Climate Change
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Intro to Climate Change

Fun Facts

  • The amount of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere has increased at about the same rate as global temperature increases.
  • Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that had been trapped as carbon buried in the ground for millennia.
  • Carbon dioxide makes up 0.04% of Earth's atmosphere.

Why Do We Need To Know About Carbon Dioxide

Learning about carbon dioxide helps you understand how it affects climate change and why it’s important to reduce its harm. This knowledge can lead to jobs in areas like renewable energy and environmental science.

Knowing about carbon dioxide is also useful for creating new technology in biofuels, nuclear energy, and storing energy. This means there are job opportunities in fields like biology, nuclear engineering, and electrical engineering because of work related to carbon dioxide.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we know that climate has changed over time?
Records of temperatures, examining tree rings, and studying ice cores from glaciers are some ways scientists have used to compare today’s climate with climates of the past.
What are some possible reasons that might cause the climate to change?
Changes in the amount of energy from the Sun reaching Earth, an increase in volcanic eruptions, changes in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
What is the greenhouse effect?
Process that occurs when gases in Earth’s atmosphere trap the sun’s heat being reflected back from the surface.
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