Of light, matter and green-houses

To understand how green-house gasses work, it's necessary to understand how light, of various frequencies, interacts with matter, how that varies with the kinds of light (infra-red, visible, &c.) and matter and how that effects the movement of energy between the top and bottom of the atmosphere. That's quite a bit to explain and it entails quite a lot of different aspects of physics: however, I hope I can give an account of it that is both adequately faithful to the reality (albeit glossing over many of the subtleties and complications) and accessible (despite going into enough detail to convey an adequate understanding) to a wide audience.

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