The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming

Global Warming is caused by the Greenhouse effect. There are 4 steps in the Greenhouse effect process. First, sunlight radiates from the sun, through space, to Earth’s atmosphere. Second, sunlight enters the atmosphere and hits Earth. Some Of it turns into heat energy in the form of infrared light. The heat gets absorbed by surrounding air and land, which in turn makes it warm. Third, greenhouse gases trap infrared rays that are remitted into the atmosphere. Finally, the gas then absorbs the light and is remitted back to the Earth’s surface and warms it even more.

Left on it’s own this natural process keeps our planet warm enough for habitation, but with the increases in temperature, caused by modern industry, our current way of life could become threatened. Of all the gases in the atmosphere only oxygen, ozone, water vapor and carbon dioxide are significant absorbers of radiation. They absorb strongly in some wavelengths and hardly at all in others. Oxygen and ozone are almost transparent to radiation in the visible and infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum; they absorb almost all of the ultraviolet radiation room the sun in wavelengths below 0. Pm. These “irradiative active” gases are relatively transparent to incoming short wave radiation, but are relatively dense to outgoing long wave radiation. These gases within the lower levels of the atmosphere trap the end radiation, which would otherwise escape to space. The subsequent retardation of some of the energy back to the surface maintains surface temperatures higher than they would be if the gases were absent. There is concern that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane may enhance the greenhouse effect and cause global warming.

Carbon dioxide is an absorber of the Earth’s infrared radiation which has led to a concern over the possible warming of the atmosphere caused by excessive amounts of carbon dioxide coming from burning fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, and the deforestation of trees. Irradiative equilibrium temperature of the Earth should be at 255 K and this mean irradiative temperature of 255 K is at times called planetary temperature and/or effective temperature of the Earth.

Averaged over time it is calculated as 288 K, about 33 K higher than this temperature. The difference in this is because of the Greenhouse Effect. The energy absorbed by the water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes the Earth’s surface to be much warmer than it us suppose to be. This is why environmentalists are so concerned with the abundance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The effects of warming have caused temperature a big mess, such as warm areas are hotter than normal and cold areas are colder than normal.

For the last 10,000 years, the Earth’s climate has been extraordinarily beneficial to mankind. Humans have prospered tremendously well under a considerate atmosphere. Today, however, major changes are taking place. People are conducting an unplanned global experiment by changing the face of the entire planet. We are destroying the ozone layer, which allows life to exist on the Earth’s surface. Global warming can and will lead to several problems that affect the environment in which we humans live in.

These problems can lead o warmer temperatures all around the world, it can endanger animals and the wildlife, and it can lead to widespread flooding from the glaciers melting. All of these activities are unfavorable altering the composition of the biosphere and the Earth’s heat balance. If we do not slow down our use of fossil fuels and stop destroying the forests, the world could become hotter than it has been in the past million years. Average global temperatures have risen 4 or 5 degree Celsius over the last century.

If carbon dioxide and other roundhouse gases continue to spill into the atmosphere, global temperatures could rise significantly by the middle of the next cent ray. The future of emissions damage depends on several factors: economics, technology, policies and institutional developments. Future predictions do not look good for this planet if nothing is done. Our renewable resources will be very limited. With cooperation from citizens and government officials, we can slow the effect of global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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