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Infrared light is visible to snakes, vampire bats, and some freshwater fish and ultraviolet light is visible to birds, insects and some saltwater fish. As our atmosphere warms up the world may look very different to other species with whom we share the planet. We don't really know what impact a hotter world will have on humans or other species. The following links provide more information on the types of light that fish, vampire bats, and insects can see:, and

What exactly is the carbon cycle? Nathaniel Manning provides a basic look into the cyclical relationship of carbon, humans and the environment.

There's a game of Tetris happening on a global scale: The playing space is planet Earth, and all those pesky, stacking blocks represent carbon dioxide -- a greenhouse gas that is piling up ever more rapidly as we burn the fossil fuels that run our cars, factories and power plants. Joss Fong outlines how this overload of CO2 leads to climate change and reminds us that, unlike Tetris, we won't get an opportunity to start over and try again.

In 4 minutes, atmospheric chemist Rachel Pike provides a glimpse of the massive scientific effort behind the bold headlines on climate change, with her team -- one of thousands who contributed -- taking a risky flight over the rainforest in pursuit of data on a key molecule.

In this intimate talk filmed at TED's offices, energy innovator Amory Lovins shows how to get the US off oil and coal by 2050, $5 trillion cheaper, with no Act of Congress, led by business for profit. The key is integrating all four energy-using sectors—and four kinds of innovation.

Energy is neither created nor destroyed — and yet the global demand for it continues to increase. But where does energy come from, and where does it go? Joshua M. Sneideman examines the many ways in which energy cycles through our planet, from the sun to our food chain to electricity and beyond.

Photographer James Balog shares new image sequences from the Extreme Ice Survey, a network of time-lapse cameras recording glaciers receding at an alarming rate, some of the most vivid evidence yet of climate change.
So what do rainbows and infrared light have to do with climate change?

Rainbows are an example of light that is emitted from the sun and don't play a direct role in global warming. Infrared light is emitted from the planet itself and any other warm living being, and it typically would radiate out of the atmosphere. With increasing levels of CO2, methane and other types of molecules that affect global warming collecting in the atmosphere more of the infrared rays are being absorbed by the molecules of CO2 or other gases and it eventually might be released again and allowed to bounce back to the Earth instead of naturally radiating out of the atmosphere into deeper space.

The light of the rainbow that is visible to the human eye is not of the wavelength that is preferred by the atoms found in CO2 but some of the rays of the rainbow may be absorbed by other atoms such as oxygen or sodium.

Global warming is increasing and will as long as humans continue releasing excess greenhouse gases.
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Jennifer Depew
Lesson Creator
Snakes and other reptiles need external sources of warmth to bring up their own body temperature to a level where they can move around. The ability is also helpful to predators like vampire bats by allowing them to "see" the warmth given off by other living animals. The ability might help protect other species by allowing them to "see" the warmth given off by predator species such as larger freshwater fish so that the smaller fish can avoid the predator.
05/30/2016 • 
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