When a molecule of greenhouse gas absorbs a photon of long wave infrared radiation it is boosted to the next allowed vibrational state. The vibrational state, as I understand it, involves deformations of the chemical bonds between the atoms. Does that higher quantum vibrational state represent a temperature change? Does the absorption of IR directly warm the atmosphere? In a response on this forum Floris wrote:
"However, there are also absorption bands in the near-IR, at 1.4, 1.9, 2.0 and 2.1 µm (see Carbon Dioxide Absorption in the Near Infrared. These bands will absorb energy of the sun "on the way down", and result in atmospheric heating."
That implies that absorption of some radiation directly warms the atmosphere. Is that true?
Part of the problem is that I don't understand how different materials/media are warmed by electromagnetic radiation. I understand the concept of greenhouse gas molecules only being excited by photons that match the energy gap between allowed quantum states of the molecule. I also, somewhat, understand collisional broadening of absorption bands in that it must happen somewhat in conjunction with the collision and take advantage of the fact that collisional energy (kinetic energy) isn't quantized. But I'm not finding basic explanations of how different parts of the Sun's spectrum excites the different media of the Earth's surface to cause heating.
That's more background, however, although I'd like to eventually gain more understanding of what happens at the atomic and molecular level in that process. My main question is the stated one, does molecular absorption of radiation directly warm the atmosphere?