How greenhouse gases are actually cooling Earth’s upper atmosphere

At high altitudes, carbon dioxide releases energy into space, making the atmosphere contract

In all the discussions about climate change, one thing is often overlooked – the upper atmosphere of Earth is actually cooling while the lower atmosphere grows warmer, and this strange paradox is a clear fingerprint of greenhouse gases at work.

Carbon dioxide in the lower atmosphere helps trap heat from the sun’s solar energy reflected off the Earth’s surface and so, like a greenhouse, the lower atmosphere grows warmer. But at high altitudes it is a different story, because the upper atmosphere is so thin that the carbon dioxide releases its energy into space and so the upper atmosphere cools. And that cooling is also making the upper atmosphere contract.

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