The Greenhouse Effect Refresher

Sierra Foothill Commentary

Atmospheric Gases: When discussing atmospheric gases, it is useful to refresh one’s memory of the relative concentrations of various gases. To be more useful these will be put in the same units, that is ppmv: parts per million by volume. In the idealized dry atmosphere:

Nitrogen is about 78% of the atmosphere or 780,840 ppmv;

Oxygen is 20.9% or 209,460 ppmv;

Argon is 0.93% of the atmosphere or 9,340 ppmv;

Carbon dioxide is about 0.04% of the atmosphere or 400 ppmv [carbon dioxide varies seasonally and is increasing]. The next greenhouse gas, significantly lower, is

Methane, with about 0.00018% of the atmosphere or 1.79 ppmv;

Nitrous oxide is about 0.0000325% or 0.325 ppmv; and

Ozone is about 0 to 0.000007% or 0 to 0.07 ppmv.

The greenhouse influence of ozone is predominantly in the upper the atmosphere, the stratosphere, where it is created naturally by chemical reactions involving solar ultraviolet…

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