Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming


The temperature of the earth’s surface is noted to be increasing continually since the year 2000 with increasing issues of global warming.

What is Greenhouse Effect?

Carbon Dioxide which is one of the major constituents in the atmosphere has several important roles to play. It absorbs the infrared radiations in the atmosphere and also helps in the weathering of rocks. It is one of the most important raw ingredients for photosynthesis. Its carbon is incorporated into organic matter and be eventually stored into the earth’s fossils.

Most of the sun’s energy that falls on the earth’s surface comes into the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The Earth’s wavelength is transparent to these therefore; these tend to scatter over a much larger area. Depending on the reflectivity or albedo of the surface, some of the sunlight is reflected back to the space. Some part of the sunlight is absorbed by the Earth and stored as thermal energy.

This heat is re-radiated as infrared radiations of even greater wavelength. While Nitrogen and Oxygen, the dominant gases of the atmosphere are said to be transparent to infrared, the greenhouse elements including carbon dioxide, water vapor and methane tend to absorb some of the infrared radiations. The greenhouse elements collect and hold back the heat keeping it from moving back out of the atmosphere. This characteristics and increase in the greenhouse gas constituency, the global average temperature has been noted to be increasing.


Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming

The industrial revolution since the 19th century, there has been a considerable increase in the burning of fossils for various considerable manufacturing purposes. This consequently leads to increased exposure of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These fossils may have formed from the animal and plant matter that would have been buried hundreds and thousands of years ago whose carbon would have been generated through photosynthesis.

Processes including respiration and photosynthesis exchange carbon dioxide into the atmosphere maintaining the required balance. However, over all these years the activities of humans have been disturbing the balance. The continuous emission of CO2 into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution has led to about two times increase in its level than that existed before the revolution.

Increased levels of Carbon Dioxide have eventually led to an increase in the global temperatures.


Effects of global warming

Undeniably, this great rise in the temperature is going to have a considerable effect on the environmental cycles and events. Temperature measurements of the deep oceans and the sea surfaces indicate heating up of the oceans. As a result there has been an increase in the level of the sea with the thermal expansion of water due to increasing temperature. It is also an indication that the glaciers and icecaps would melt.

Warmer surfaces of the sea are responsible for increased chances of tropical storms. Not only this; but there would also be notable changes in the regional patterns of rainfall.

Higher levels of carbon dioxide are also responsible for increased growth of weed species. Because of unfavorable changes, natural ecosystems are likely to be hard pressed. Many species would be losing their habitats due to undesirable climate change.


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