Atmospheric climate variables. Animation going on a continuous ascent from ground level up through the atmosphere and into orbit, using computer graphics to show some of the atmospheric climate variables that are monitored by Earth observation satellites: fire, aerosols, clouds, greenhouse gases and ozone. Industrial pollution, power generation, agricultural practices and biomass burning add 35 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year, as well as smoke and aerosol particles. Aerosols block energy from the Sun, cooling the atmosphere, and provide the seeds for cloud formation. Clouds reflect the SunÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s energy but they also absorb infrared emissions from the ground, trapping heat in the atmosphere. Rising levels of greenhouse gases have increased the EarthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s average temperature by about 1 degree Celsius since 1850. Ozone is a powerful greenhouse gas, so its evolution is intimately coupled to climate change. For this clip with captions, see K008/6531.
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