Greenhouse effect, a warming of Earth’s surface and troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere) caused by the presence of water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, and certain other gases in the air. Of those gases, known as greenhouse gases, water vapour has the largest effect. The atmosphere allows most of the visible light from the Sun to pass through and reach Earth’s surface. As Earth’s surface is heated by sunlight, it radiates part of this energy back toward space as infrared radiation. This radiation, unlike visible light, tends to be absorbed by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, raising its temperature. The heated atmosphere in turn radiates infrared radiation back toward Earth’s surface.
Without the heating caused by the greenhouse effect, Earth’s average surface temperature would be only about −18 °C (0 °F). On Venus the very high concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes an extreme greenhouse effect resulting in surface temperatures as high as 450 °C (840 °F).
Why are carbon emissions a problem?
Over the last 150 years, human activity has brought the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to levels that have not been seen for hundreds of thousands of years. The magnitude of this impact is immense. Humans today have so much impact on a global scale that most geologists, ecologists, and natural historians maintain that we have entered an entirely new geological epoch, known as the Anthropocene. Ongoing scientific research has made it increasingly clear that it is in humanity's best interest, as a species, to move away from dependence on fossil fuel combustion.
Why is the increase of greenhouse gases a big issue
Greenhouse gases pose severe environmental and health issues. They cause climate change by trapping heat, which in turn affects various species in already arid climates. The climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions also contributes to extreme weather, wildfires, droughts and food supply disruptions. If our planet continues to release greenhouse gases at the current rate, the typical weather patterns will change, and some animal species will likely disappear. Greenhouse gases also contribute to air pollution and smog, which can cause respiratory and pulmonary diseases.
What caused global warming?
Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide and other pollutants accumulate in the atmosphere. These air pollutants absorb sunlight and radiation that have bounced off the earth’s surface. This radiation would normally escape into space, but these pollutants can last for centuries in the atmosphere, trapping the heat and causing the nearby planet to heat up. These pollutants trap heat and are referred to as greenhouse gases. Their negative impact on the planet is known as the greenhouse effect.
What is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases?
Here in the US (and in most other areas of the world), the biggest contributor is the burning of fossil fuels. Everytime you use gas in your car, natural gas in the kitchen, or flick a light, you’re likely using a fossil fuel. If you look around you, it’s likely most of those things were made with tools or processes that used fossil fuels, too. Every time we burn a fossil fuel it releases more harmful gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
If you want to contribute less to this issue, there are two important actions you can take. First, switch your home’s electricity supply to a 100% green clean electricity plan. Inspire helps its members do just that in many states around the country.
How serious is green House effect?
Each year, we discover more about the consequences of global warming through evidence of its worrisome impact on the planet and its inhabitants. Climate change causes heatwaves, fires, droughts, and floods, and as they become more frequent and dangerous, people and animals suffer. Why are carbon emissions a global problem? If we don’t reduce our global emissions, climate change could result in the deaths of over 250,000 people globally and annually. These devastating effects will likely also force 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. In countries that already have high levels of suffering and poverty, this could have disastrous effects that we cannot afford to risk.
How can we solve global warming?
Pretty much every sector of the global economy, from agriculture and manufacturing to power production and transportation, contributes to releasing greenhouse gases. To avoid the worst effects of large-scale climate change, all of these sectors must shift away from fossil fuels. The changes are vital for the biggest emitters, with twenty countries causing around three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions, with the US, China and India in the top three.
We already have the technology needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These changes would entail boosting energy efficiency in warehouses and industrial factories, swapping fossil fuels for renewable sources and discouraging carbon emissions by charging companies for releasing them.
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