The temperature swings on earth from day to night are less extreme thanks to the atmosphere. Temperatures on the moon, on the other hand, swing wildly.
The Lut Desert in Iran is the considered the hottest place on earth. In 2005, infrared data collected from the Landsat satellites measured the temperature there at 70.7 °C . When sunlight hits the moon’s surface, the temperature can reach 123 °C .
The lowest natural temperature ever directly recorded at ground level on Earth is −89.2 °C at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica, on July 21, 1983. The “dark side of the moon” can have temperatures dipping to – 153 °C .
Without an atmosphere, the earth’s surface would be both hotter in areas receiving direct sunlight and cooler in the shade. It seems fair to say that the earth’s atmosphere both
cools and warms deflects heat and retards cooling of the earth. It cools parts of the earth which face the sun by deflecting radiation from the sun back into space. It warms areas of the earth which are not facing the sun by limiting the speed at which the warmth of the earth’s surface can dissipate up, out into space.
So often we are told a similar yet misleading story about our atmosphere. It usually goes something like this…
“Earth’s atmosphere acts like a blanket, trapping infrared radiation close to the planet and warming it up. Without the atmosphere, the temperature on Earth would be more like the Moon, which rises to 116° C in the day, and then dips down to -173° C at night.” http://www.universetoday.com/48328/earth-surface-temperature/
In order to see the deception in this statement, it’s important to define warming. If you warm something you increase it’s temperature. Slowing the rate at which a warm body cools is not warming. Slowing the rate of cooling is called insulating.
A human body produces heat. That heat will radiate away from the surface of the skin faster if it is not covered. A blanket slows the rate at which the body’s warmth can radiate away. Trapping the bodies warmth and preventing it from dissipating away does not make the blanket into a source of heat. The only source of heat in this situation is the body itself.
The same truth applies to earth and it’s atmosphere. The atmosphere does act as a blanket which prevents the warm earth from cooling when not exposed to direct sunlight. To imply that the atmosphere itself is a heat source, is false.
A fire burning in a log cabin is the source of heat which warms the air inside. The cabin walls contain and insulate the warm air within from the cold air outside. The walls have no heat to offer the room. The walls can only serve to slow the rate at which the air in the room (warmed by the fire) cools.
Climate alarmists want to make the walls, the blanket and the atmosphere more than an insulator. They insist these are heat sources, which I find completely absurd. The blanket, the cabin walls, and yes, the earth’s atmosphere have no capacity to create heat in the system that was not generated by the body, the fire, and the sun respectively.