“But because we’ve burned a lot of fossil fuels and deforested parts of the planet, we’ve increased the amount of greenhouse gases, and as a result have changed the temperature of the planet.”carbon dioxide A gas produced by all animals when the oxygen they inhale reacts with the carbon-rich foods that they’ve eaten.
This colorless, odorless gas also is released when organic matter (including fossil fuels like oil or gas) is burned.
Since then, average global temperatures are still increasing, causing record-breaking heat waves such as this one, which hit Europe in late July.
Science News astronomy reporter Lisa Grossman visits the pristine-sample lab at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The display case holds rocks collected by the Apollo 15 and 16 missions.
The 1.5-kilogram (3.3-pound) chunk of volcanic basalt in the center is 3.4 billion years old.
As the sun’s rays enter our atmosphere, most continue right down to the planet’s surface.
As they hit the soil and surface waters, those rays release much of their energy as heat.
Some of the heat then radiates back out into space.
However, certain gases in our atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor, work like a blanket to retain much of that heat. The gases do this by absorbing the heat and radiating it back to Earth’s surface.