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Greenhouse effects

The greenhouse effect is naturally occurring phenomena do to the sun solar radiation. Without it there would be no life on our planet. The phenomena are named after the way or the mechanism a greenhouse glass warms the greenhouse or the air inside a greenhouse, the mechanism is not exactly the same. The glass in a greenhouse works same as the atmosphere for the earth concerning the part where the heat loss occurs. As mentioned earlier the greenhouse effect made life on earth as we know it, and made it possible for human to live on our planet. But, do to human activities the effects are increased to a dangerous level causing global warming. The greenhouse effect was first noticed by Fourier in the early 18th century, and proved later by Arrhenius in the late 18th century.

Fig. 1 earth's atmosphere

Fig. 2 a glass greenhouse

How does it work..??

Fig. 3- a simple model of the greenhouse effect

It starts with the solar radiation flowing from the sun reaches the earth atmosphere. The energy or the radiation (mostly UV and IR radiation) passes through the atmosphere and some of the radiation gets reflected. 50% of the energy that passed gets absorbed by the surface of the earth. The surface is already warm so, it reradiates more" thermal" IR radiation (heat energy). Most of the radiation from the earth's surface is absorbed by the atmosphere and then it's reradiated both upward into space and downward into the earth surface again, thus trapping these radiations and that leads into a deliberate higher temperature inside the earth's atmosphere. The trapping of the radiation process happens only in the presence of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases present in our atmosphere are {CO2, H2O water vapor, CH4, O3 ozone, NOx}.

The importance of the greenhouse gasses:

Greenhouse gases are needed in order to create an atmosphere for life to exist. Without greenhouse gases there would be no life on Earth. Greenhouse gases absorb energy from the sun, trapping it in the atmosphere, as part of the Greenhouse Effect. Most greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere. Human activity impacts the concentration of those gases in the atmosphere. There are also human-produced gases.

Fig. 4 greenhouse effect escalating because of the human activities

Global warming:
Global warming is one of the worst environmental problems that the modern world is facing due to several unfavorable human behaviors. According to scientists and scientific research, global warming increases the average temperature of the earths near surface, air and the ocean. As a result of global warming unwonted environmental effects take place, such as the rise of sea level One of the major causes of global warming is the increase in concentration of the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases that occur naturally from the green house effect are enough to make a good atmosphere for humans and many different creatures to live but, after the Industrial Revolution with the use of fossil fuel, emission of CO2 gas has gradually increased. CO2 is a major component of greenhouse gases, which contributes about 9-26% to the overall greenhouse effect. Therefore, the naturally occurring greenhouse effect thus becomes an adverse effect to the earth. Production of CH4 also contributes to the greenhouse effect. This can occur via hot springs, garbage dumps and production of biogas.

FIG. 5 mean temp. around the globe showing how populated areas are warmer than the rest.

Greenhouse effect causes the Earth to be warm. By itself, it is a good thing. Without heat, life on Earth would not exist. With industrial and scientific development, we are unable to stop the use of fossil fuel. The finding of an environmental friendly alternative energy source is time consuming and also it needs a lot of money and knowledge. Therefore what we can possibly do is to reduce the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere while searching for alternative energy source. By reducing the CO2 concentration of the earths atmosphere, we can thus reduce the greenhouse effect.