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What is Greenhouse effect?

The greenhouse effect is a natural process that warms the Earths surface. When the Suns
energy reaches the Earths atmosphere, some of it is reflected back to space and the rest is
absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases. The absorbed energy warms the atmosphere
and the surface of the Earth. This process maintains the Earths temperature at around 33
degrees Celsius warmer than it would otherwise be, allowing life on Earth to exist.

A greenhouse is a house made of glass. It has glass walls and a glass roof. A greenhouse
stays warm inside, even during winter. But the heat is trapped by the glass and can't
escape. So during the daylight hours, it gets warmer and warmer inside a greenhouse, and
stays pretty warm at night too.

Earth's atmosphere does the same thing as the greenhouse. Gases in the atmosphere such as
carbon dioxide do what the roof of a greenhouse does. During the day, the Sun shines through
the atmosphere. Earth's surface warms up in the sunlight. At night, Earth's surface cools,
releasing the heat back into the air. But some of the heat is trapped by the greenhouse gases in
the atmosphere.

Greenhouse Gases
Ozone- 37%
Methane - 49

Water Vapor - 3670


Others: Nitrous Oxide

Carbon Dioxide - 926


Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

CAUSES:
1. Burning of Fossil Fuels: Fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas have become
an integral part of our life. They are used on large basis to produce electricity and
for transportation.
2. Deforestation: Large scale development has forced people to look for alternate
places for living which has resulted in cutting down of trees.
3. Increase in Population: Now, this has resulted in increased demand for food,
cloth and shelter. Also, more people mean more usage of fossil fuels which in turn
has aggravated the problem.
4. Farming: Nitrous oxide is one the greenhouse gas that is used in fertilizer and
contributes to greenhouse effect which in turn leads to global warming.
5. Industrial waste and landfills: Industries which are involved in cement
production, fertilizers, coal mining activities, oil extraction produce harmful
greenhouse gases.
EFFECTS:
1. More droughts and more floods: When the weather gets warmer, evaporation
from both land and sea increases. This can cause drought in areas of the world
where the increased evaporation is not compensated for by more precipitation.
2. Less ice and snow: Worldwide, glaciers are shrinking rapidly at present. Ice
appears to be melting faster than previously estimated.
3. More extreme weather incidents: The warmer climate will probably cause the
more violent rainfall and increase in the number or severity of storms.

4. Rising sea level: Sea level rises because of melting ice and snow and because of
the thermal expansion of the sea(water expands when warmed)

Greenhouse effect process~


Step 1: Solar radiation reaches the Earth's atmosphere - some of this is reflected back
into space.
Step 2: The rest of the sun's energy is absorbed by the land and the oceans, heating the
Earth.
Step 3: Heat from Earth radiates towards space.
Step 4: Some of this heat is trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, keeping
the Earth warm enough to sustain life.
Step 5: Human activities such as burning fossil fuels, agriculture, and land clearing are
increasing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
Step 6: This is trapping extra heat, and causing the Earth's temperature to rise.

Too much Greenhouse gases in the Earths atmosphere lead to Global Warming.
Most of us are confused what differs between greenhouse effect and Global
Warming. Actually, Global Warming is only the cause of the great amount of
Greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere. As Ive said to you, these gases trap
heat. The more the amount of these gases the more heat they could trap. Now
what is Global Warming? It is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the
Earths atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by
increased levels of CO2, CFCs, and other pollutants.

Lets go to another consequence of greenhouse effect which is OZONE DEPLETION.


Now, how about it?
Ozone depletion, is simply the wearing out (reduction) of the amount of ozone in the
stratosphere. Unlike pollution, which has many types and causes, Ozone depletion has been
pinned down to one major human activity. Depletion begins when CFCs get into stratosphere.
Ultra violet radiation from the sun breaks up these CFCs. The breaking up action releases
Chlorine atoms. Chlorine atoms react with Ozone, starting a chemical cycle that destroys the
good ozone in that area. One chlorine atom can break apart more than 100,000 ozone molecules.
The ozone layer forms a thick layer in stratosphere, encircling the earth, which has large amount
of ozone in it. It protects our planet i.e. Earth from the harmful radiations that comes from the
sun. The ozone layer has the capability to absorb almost 97-99% of the harmful ultraviolet

radiations that sun emit and which can produce long term devastating effects on humans beings
as well as plants and animals.
Sometime in 1979, it was observed there is a considerable Ozone Depletion in the upper
latitudes, Arctic and Antarctic. This massive stretch of ozone depletion is estimated to be about
the size of America. The phenomenon is what we usually call the Ozone Hole, and it was most
observed over the Antarctic every year during spring.
Ozone is a natural gas composed of three atoms of oxygen. It is blue in color and has a strong
odor. Normal oxygen (O2) that we breathe has two oxygen atoms and is colorless and odorless.
Environmental scientists have classified O3 into two: Good Ozone and Bad Ozone.
Good Ozone: is also known as the Stratospheric Ozone It is responsible for blocking the UV
Rays of the sun.
Bad Ozone: is also known as the Tropospheric Ozone It contributes to the occurrence of
Photochemical Smog.