Effects Of Greenhouse Gases On Earth, Venus, And Mars: An Undergraduate Level Tutorial

Science Topic: Planetary Climate
5th Shaw-IAU Workshop
Thursday Nov. 30, 2023
UTC: 1 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Friday Dec. 1, 2023
UTC: 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

I present a discussion of the effect of increasing carbon dioxide on planetary climate, at a level suitable for insertion as a module into an upper - level Physics course. The treatment includes two key ingredients that are often missing from more elementary discussions, yet are amenable to analytic methods: First, that convection implies a dependence of surface temperature on the height of the outermost infrared - thick layer; and second, that increasing the level of CO2 closes spectral windows of absorption. These themes are applicable not only to an industrializing Earth but also to our neighboring planets.

About Philip Nelson

Philip Nelson is Professor of Physics at University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Biological Physics (2022) and the forthcoming Electromagnetic Phenomena (Princeton University Press). He was awarded the Emily Gray Prize of the Biophysical Society for education in Biophysics.