Greenhouse effect: causes and solutions

A brief report on the essence of the greenhouse effect.

The greenhouse effect is the phenomenon of a gradual increase in temperature of our planet. However, the greenhouse effect occurs not only on Earth. The consequences of the greenhouse effect were also found on Mars, Venus and Titan — Saturn’s moon. This phenomenon can occur wherever a celestial body is surrounded by an atmosphere.

The concept of the greenhouse effect is applied both in the case of a rise in the temperature of the planet as a result of natural factors, and as a result of human activity. The first of these cases has recently been relegated to the background, and most of us identify the greenhouse effect with the phenomenon of global warming. It should be noted that the conservation of heat in the atmosphere makes possible the development of life on Earth, providing the inhabitants of the planet with an appropriate temperature. In order to understand this, we need to analyze how thermal energy reaches the Earth, and how it is trapped in the atmosphere.

greenhouse effect
Source: Ecological Blog (ruslo.info)

Causes of the greenhouse effect

The energy of solar radiation after reaching the Earth turns into thermal energy. Our planet absorbs heat and then releases it through the atmosphere, clouds and its own surface. We are talking about the emission of long-wave radiation, which occurs both in the direction of space and in the direction of the Earth — the radiation waves are absorbed by the components of the atmosphere, and then re-emitted in all directions.

The Earth is heating up again because only a small amount of radiation enters the space. This is a completely natural and desirable process, thanks to which the air on the surface of the Earth acquires the temperature that all living organisms need. The problem arises when, as a result of human activity, more thermal energy accumulates in the atmosphere than it should. This occurs by increasing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, ozone, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, which trap radiation and trap heat, which is useful and necessary for life on Earth. However, if there are too many greenhouse gases, thermal radiation remains in them and causes a rise in temperature. As a result, global warming is occurring, which has a negative impact on climate.

global warming map earth
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Greenhouse effect consequences and impact

Melting ice caps and droughts are the most well-known negative effects of the greenhouse effect. Any climate change entails a number of far-reaching consequences. Among the other results of the temperature increase on Earth are:

  • ocean warming and increasing of the amount of evaporating water,
  • thawing of permafrost,
  • impaired air circulation,
  • increased cloudiness,
  • weather anomalies.

Global warming, as a consequence of the greenhouse effect, also breach the balance in the life of ecosystems. This can lead to their extinction and, therefore, to the extinction of species and a reduction of biological diversity on our planet. In addition, global warming also means:

  • increased disaster risk,
  • reduction of natural resources that can lead to hunger,
  • crop failure,
  • the spread of diseases typical for a hot climate,
  • the shift of climatic zones towards the poles.
greenhouse effect on ice
Credit: pixabay.com

How to prevent global warming

In order to prevent the greenhouse effect from becoming a problem, measures must be taken to reduce excessive emission of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. The fight against the greenhouse effect should occur simultaneously in several ways:

  • the use of alternative energy sources (reducing the use of coal and crude oil),
  • prevent emissions of refrigerant gas,
  • improving the insulation of buildings,
  • development of central heating infrastructure,
  • use of economical industrial technologies,
  • sorting garbage,
  • waste recycling,
  • limiting landfill space,
  • sustainable forest management and new forests planting,
  • optimization of heating plants and power plants.
greenhouse effect solar panels
Credit: pixabay.com

Discussions and argues on the greenhouse effect

The topics of the greenhouse effect and global warming are subject to many controversial discussions and different scientific positions. Some deny the existence of the greenhouse effect, arguing that there has never been such a phenomenon. Others, however, argue that the role of carbon dioxide in the process of global warming has been overestimated, since carbon circulating in matter balances the amount of carbon dioxide (CO 2) in the atmosphere. Therefore, it cannot be stated with certainty that the mechanisms of the greenhouse effect have been carefully analyzed and its consequences are accurately recognized.

Source: Ecological Blog (ruslo.info)

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