AE 4

Question 1. Understanding Earth’s energy balance is essential to understanding the issue of global warming. For example, the solar energy striking Earth’s surface averages 168 watts per square meter (W/m2), but the energy leaving Earth’s surface averages 390 W/m2. Why isn’t Earth cooling rapidly?

Answer: The Earth does not cool rapidly because the atmosphere retains much of the emitted heat energy.

Question 2. Decide and explain whether the statement is correct or incorrect. Explain.

“This winter has lowered my concerns about global warming”

Answer: Incorrect. Global warming refers to an average increase in temperature of the Earth, and at the same time leads to erratic and more extreme weather conditions. Just because the a region of the Earth is experiencing a colder winter does not mean that the average global temperature has decreased.

Question 3. One of the first radar devices developed during World War II used microwave radiation of a specific wave range that triggers the rotation of water molecules. Why was the design not successful?

Answer: Absorption of microwave radiation by water in the atmosphere interferes with the detection of the intended objects.

Question 4. Now that you have studies air quality (Unit 1), stratospheric ozone depletion (Unit 2), and global warming (Unit 3), which do you believe poses the most serious problem for you in the short run (pick one and explain)? In the long run (Pick one and explain why)?


  1. Short run: Air quality poses the most serious problem in the short run because it directly affects our health conditions and immediate environment in which we live in.
  2. Long run:  Global warming poses the most serious problem in the long run because there is no direct and effective solution for it. Also, we can only control limited amounts of CO2 emitted but can never fully reduce the amount of CO2 reduced by humans.