How Does CO2 Warm the Earth?

A friend from high school posted to Facebook an article with the title If carbon dioxide is so bad for the planet, why do greenhouse growers buy CO2 generators to double plant growth? from a site called by Mike Adams, the "Health Ranger" - who obviously is either an idiot or paid by someone who has a vested interest in the status quo. Here's my reply:

My Friend, you were an honors graduate from our high school. You should be smart enough to understand that CO2 in contact with plants behaves differently than CO2 in contact with sunlight - it feeds the plants, but traps the reflected energy of the sunlight. Reflected sunlight changes from visible wavelenghts to infrared wavelenghts - which don't get radiated back into space if there is sufficient CO2 because CO2 blocks infrared.

The same principle is at work in a greenhouse - visible light comes in thru the glass, gets reflected as infrared light which does not pass back thru the glass and remains trapped - as heat energy. This is what you want in a greenhouse. This is also why your car gets hot sitting the sun.

Unfortunately excess CO2 in our atmosphere does exactly the same thing and leads to a warmer climate because the amount of infrared radiation no long being reflected back into space is sufficient to raise the temperature of the planet. And this leads to vegetation drying out which leads to much larger fires in the Western US and all over Australia. That heats also melts ice both in the earth's ice caps and glaciers - which raises sea level. That heat also raises the temperature of the oceans with dire consequences for sea life as well as leading to changes in weather patterns resulting in more droughts and stronger storms (tho obviously not at the same time in the same place).

Use your critical thinking skills, My Friend. You can understand this.

Could We Just Build A 'Space Sunshade'? (Includes more about the above)
New climate report: Oceans rising faster, ice melting more
xkcd: Earth Temperature Timeline
Summer 2019 High Temps
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