However, we found out lately that less than 50% of our readers know about greenhouse effect and what causes the effect and where we are in that effect. Hence we decided to focus a little bit on it in this article. Hopefully those readers shall find this article beneficial in to understand the other topics on the other articles.
The Greenhouse Effect is very important for all of us because without the effect, our lovely Earth would be similar to the other planets where the temperature won’t be suitable for living comparing to what we are having now. Scientists have estimated that the average temperature on Earth would be colder by approximately 30 degrees Celsius or 54 degrees Fahrenheit without the Greenhouse Effect, which is far too cold to sustain our current ecosystem.
Although, the Greenhouse Effect is good for us, however human activities have accelerated the activities more than the natural process by creating more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than are necessary to warm the Earth to an ideal temperature. So this creates the Global Warming.
How Greenhouse Effect works?
- Earth receives most of its energy through radiation from the Sun.
- The energy from the Sun is electromagnetic radiation in the form of visible light, with small amounts of Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV).
- The incoming visible solar energy has a very short wavelength and passes right through the atmosphere.
- The Earth’s surface absorbs the solar energy and releases it back to the atmosphere as Infrared (IR) radiation, some of which goes right back into space.
- But some of the IR radiation emitted by the Earth is absorbed by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and sent back towards the Earth’s surface. That warms the Earth’s surface.
- Three main gases in our atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect are carbon dioxide, methane, and water.
- These gases absorb the infrared radiation emitted by the Earth and re-radiate the energy as heat back towards the Earth, causing a warming known as the greenhouse effect.
- The warming due to greenhouse gases is expected to increase as humans add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
How do human’s activities contribute to the Greenhouse Effect?
Basically, there are a number of human activities which increase the greenhouse gases to the atmosphere more than necessity to warm the earth. More greenhouse gases means more infrared radiation trapped and held which gradually increases the temperature of the Earth’s surface and the air in the lower atmosphere. Some of them are as follows;
- Some farming practices and land-use changes increase the levels of methane and nitrous oxide. Mostly through the use of chemical fertilizers.
- Many factories produce long-lasting industrial gases that do not occur naturally, yet contribute significantly to the enhanced greenhouse effect and “global warming” that is currently under way.
- Deforestation also contributes to global warming. Trees use carbon dioxide and give off oxygen in its place, which helps to create the optimal balance of gases in the atmosphere. As more forests are logged for timber or cut down to make way for farming, however, there are fewer trees to perform this critical function.
- Burning natural gas, coal and oil such as gasoline/petrol for automobile engines-raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
- Population growth is another factor in global warming, because as more people use fossil fuels for heat, transportation and manufacturing the level of greenhouse gases continues to increase. As more farming occurs to feed millions of new people, more greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere.