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Chapter Two: Greenhouse 2.1 What is Greenhouse?

A greenhouse (also called a glasshouse) is a building where plants are grown. A greenhouse is a structure with a glass or plastic roof and frequently glass or plastic walls; it heats up because incoming visible solar radiation from the sun is absorbed by plants, soil, and other things inside the building. Glass is transparent to this radiation. The warmed structures and plants inside the greenhouse re-radiate this energy in the infra-red, to which glass is partly opaque, and that energy is trapped inside the glasshouse. Although there is some heat loss due to conduction, there is a net increase in energy (and therefore temperature) inside the greenhouse. Air warmed by the heat from hot interior surfaces is retained in the building by the roof and wall. These structures range in size from small sheds to very large buildings.

2.2 History of Greenhouse

19th Century Orangerie in Weilburg, Germany. The idea of growing plants in environmentally controlled areas has existed since Roman times. The Roman emperor Tiberius ate a cucumber-like vegetable daily. The Roman gardeners used artificial methods (similar to the greenhouse system) of growing to have it available for his table every day of the year. Cucumbers were planted in wheeled carts which were put in the sun daily, and then taken inside to keep them warm at night. The cucumbers were stored under frames or in cucumber houses glazed with either oiled cloth known as "specularia" or with sheets of serenity (a.k.a. lapis specularis), according to the description by Pliny the Elder.

The first modern greenhouses were built in Italy in the thirteenth century to house the exotic plants that explorers brought back from the tropics. They were originally called giardini botanici (botanical gardens). The concept of greenhouses soon spread to the Netherlands and then England, along with the plants. Some of these early attempts required enormous amounts of work to close up at night or to winterize. There were serious problems with providing adequate and balanced heat in these early greenhouses. Today the Netherlands as many of the largest greenhouses in the world, some of them so vast that they are able to produce millions of vegetables every year. The French botanist Charles Lucien Bonaparte is often credited with building the first practical modern greenhouse in Lei den, Holland to grow medicinal tropical plants. In Japan, the first greenhouse was built in 1880 by Samuel Cocking, a British merchant who exported herbs.

In the Twentieth Century the geodesic dome was added to the many types of greenhouses. A notable example is the Eden Project, in Cornwall.

2.3 Uses of Greenhouse

Greenhouses protect crops from too much heat or cold, shield plants from dust storms and blizzards, and help to keep out pests. Light and temperature control allows greenhouses to turn inerrable land into arable land, thereby improving food production in marginal environments.

Because greenhouses allow certain crops to be grown throughout the year, greenhouses are increasingly important in the food supply of high latitude countries. One of the largest greenhouse complexes in the world is in Almeria, Spain, where greenhouses cover almost 50,000 acres (200 km2). Sometimes called the sea of plastics. Greenhouses are often used for growing flowers, vegetables, fruits, and tobacco plants. Bumblebees are the pollinators of choice for most greenhouse pollination, although other types of bees have been used, as well as artificial pollination. Hydroponics can be used in greenhouses as well to make the most use of the interior space. Besides tobacco, many vegetables and flowers are grown in greenhouses in late winter and early spring, and then transplanted outside as the weather warms. Started plants are usually available for gardeners in farmers' markets at transplanting time. Special greenhouse varieties of certain crops such as tomatoes are generally used for commercial production. The closed environment of a greenhouse has its own unique requirements, compared with outdoor production. Pests and diseases, and extremes of heat and humidity, have to be controlled, and irrigation is necessary to provide water. Significant inputs of heat and light may be required, particularly with winter production of warm-weather vegetables. Because the temperature and humidity of greenhouses must be constantly monitored to ensure optimal conditions, a wireless sensor network can be used

to gather data remotely. The data is transmitted to a control location and used to control heating, cooling, and irrigation systems.

2.4 Greenhouse Gases

By their percentage contribution to the greenhouse effect the four major gases are:

carbon dioxide 56% methane, 18% CFCs -13% ozone 7% Nitrous Oxide 6%

The major non-gas contributor to the Earth's greenhouse effect, clouds, also absorb and emit infrared radiation and thus have an effect on radioactive properties of the atmosphere.

Figure: Green House Gases

Figure: CO2-emissions world-wide by year 3

2.5 What is Greenhouse Effect?

A representation of the exchanges of energy between the source (the Sun), the Earth's surface, the Earth's atmosphere, and the ultimate sink outer space. The ability of the atmosphere to capture and recycle energy emitted by the Earth surface is the defining characteristic of the greenhouse effect.

Figure: Green House Effect The greenhouse effect is a process by which radiative energy leaving a planetary surface is absorbed by some atmospheric gases, called greenhouse gases. They transfer this energy to other components of the atmosphere, and it is re-radiated in all directions, including back down towards the surface. This transfers energy to the surface and lower atmosphere, so the temperature there is higher than it would be if direct heating by solar radiation were the only warming mechanism. This mechanism is fundamentally different from that of an actual greenhouse, which works by isolating warm air inside the structure so that heat is not lost by convection. The greenhouse effect was discovered by Joseph Fourier in 1824, first reliably experimented on by John Tyndall in 1858, and first reported quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. According to Business dictionary Steady increase in the Earth's average lower atmosphere (near surface) temperature due to heat retention caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases (including water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, and chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs). These gases form a blanket around the earth that lets the incoming sun rays (short wave radiation) to pass through but block the reflected heat rays (long wave radiation) from going out into the space. According to Science A term used to describe the heating of the atmosphere owing to the presence of carbon dioxide and other gases. Without the presence of these gases, heat from the sun would return to space in the form of infrared radiation. Carbon dioxide and other gases absorb some of this radiation and prevent its release, thereby warming the Earth. This is an effect analogous to what happens in a greenhouse, where glass traps the infrared radiation and warms the air.

If an ideal thermally conductive blackbody was the same distance from the Sun as the Earth, it would have an expected blackbody temperature of 5.3 C. However, since the Earth reflects about 30% (or 28%) of the incoming sunlight, the planet's actual blackbody temperature is about -18 or -19 C, about 33C below the actual surface temperature of about 14 C or 15 C. The mechanism that produces this difference between the actual temperature and the blackbody temperature is due to the atmosphere and is known as the greenhouse effect.

2.6 The distinction between the greenhouse effect and real greenhouses
The "greenhouse effect" is named by analogy to greenhouses but this is a misnomer. The greenhouse effect and a real greenhouse are similar in that they both limit the rate of thermal energy flowing out of the system, but the mechanisms by which heat is retained are different. A greenhouse works primarily by preventing absorbed heat from leaving the structure through convection, i.e. sensible heat transport. The greenhouse effect heats the earth because greenhouse gases absorb outgoing radiative energy and re-emit some of it back towards earth.

A greenhouse is built of any material that passes sunlight, usually glass, or plastic. It mainly heats up because the Sun warms the ground inside, which then warms the air in the greenhouse. The air continues to heat because it is confined within the greenhouse, unlike the environment outside the greenhouse where warm air near the surface rises and mixes with cooler air aloft. This can be demonstrated by opening a small window near the roof of a greenhouse: the temperature will drop considerably. It has also been demonstrated experimentally that a "greenhouse" with a cover of rock salt (which is transparent to infra red) heats up an enclosure similarly to one with a glass cover. Thus greenhouses work primarily by preventing convective cooling. In the greenhouse effect, rather than retaining (sensible) heat by physically preventing movement of the air, greenhouse gases act to warm the Earth by re-

radiating some of the energy back towards the surface. This process may exist in real greenhouses, but is comparatively unimportant there.

2.7 Global Warming

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. According to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global surface temperature increased 0.74 0.18 C (1.33 0.32 F) during the 20th century. Most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century was caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, which results from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation. Global dimming, a result of increasing concentrations of atmospheric aerosols that block sunlight from reaching the surface, has partially countered the effects of greenhouse gas induced warming. Climate model projections summarized in the latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 C (2.0 to 11.5 F) during the 21st century. The uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions. An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropical deserts. Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects include changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these regional variations is uncertain. The scientific consensus is that anthropogenic global warming is occurring. Nevertheless, political and public debate continues. The Kyoto Protocol is aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas concentration to prevent a "dangerous anthropogenic interference".[9] As of November 2009, 187 states have signed and ratified the protocol.

2.8 Causes of Greenhouse Effect

The Greenhouse effect is a much debated issue. Here are some details about the causes of the Greenhouse effect. Humankind has progressed a lot over the years. However, this progress has come at a cost of the exploitation of nature many a times. Humans are the main reason for the pollution in nature. Global warming has been a matter of concern for many years, with various man-made machines now contributing to Global Warming. One of the main causes of Global Warming is the Green house effect. When the emission of infra-red radiation in the atmosphere warms a planet's surface, it is known as the Green House Effect. The Greenhouse effect is a natural phenomena occurring on planet Earth.

The life on Earth depends entirely on the Sun. The energy for life is supplied by the Sun. Out of the total sunlight available; more than thirty percent is deflected into outer space. The rest is reflected and converted into slow moving energy called infrared radiation. This radiation is then trapped into the atmosphere by various gases like carbon-di-oxide, methane, ozone and water vapor. Therefore, its escape is slowed down. Out of these gases, carbon-di-oxide itself is responsible for the Green house effect. There are natural as well as human-made causes of the greenhouse effect. The natural causes of the Green house effect are the emissions of gases like nitrous oxide, carbondi-oxide, methane, ozone and water vapor. The greenhouse effect is actually beneficial to the Earth. It is only when human-made processes increase its speed that the problems occur. One main problem is the oft repeated 'Global Warming'. One of the man-made causes of the Green House effect is deforestation. Deforestation increases the amount of carbon-di-oxide in the atmosphere. Also, due to the disappearance of trees, photosynthesis cannot take place. Deforestation causes of the greenhouse effect. Deforestation is rampant today due to the increase in human civilization. The levels of deforestation have increased by about nine percent in recent times. Also, the burning of wood causes it to decay, therefore releasing more carbondioxide into the atmosphere. Greenhouse Gases also can be released into the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels, oil, coal and gas. These materials are used increasingly and rampantly in Industries. Therefore Industries are also a major cause of the Greenhouse Effect. Other man-made causes of the increase in the Green house effect due to the emission of such gases are any all electrical appliances. Even the humble refrigerator in the house emits gases which contribute to the Greenhouse effect. These gases are known as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and are used in refrigerators, aerosol cans, and some foaming agents in the packaging industry, fire extinguisher chemicals and cleaners used in the electronic industry. Some processes of the cement manufacturing industries also act as a cause towards the Greenhouse effect. Other man-made processes that contribute and are a cause to the Greenhouse effect are burning of gasoline, oil and coal. Apart from these, some farming and land-use processes are a cause of the Green house effect. Most factories also produce many gases which last for a longer time in the atmosphere. These gases contribute to the greenhouse effect and also the global warming on the planet. These gases are not naturally available in the atmosphere. Population growth also is a indirect contributor and one of the causes of the Greenhouse effect. With the increase in population, the needs and wants of the people increase. Therefore, this increases the manufacturing processes as well as the industry processes. This results in the increase of the release of industrial gases which catalyze the green house effect. The increase in population also results in the increase of agricultural processes. Most man-made machines, like the automobile also contribute to the green house effect.

Humans Contribute in the Greenhouse Effect: While the greenhouse effect is an essential environmental prerequisite for life on Earth, there really can be too much of a good thing. The problems begin when human activities distort and accelerate the natural process by creating more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than are necessary to warm the planet to an ideal temperature. Burning natural gas, coal and oil -including gasoline for automobile enginesraises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Some farming practices and land-use changes increase the levels of methane and nitrous oxide. Many factories produce long-lasting industrial gases that do not occur naturally, yet contribute significantly to the enhanced greenhouse effect and "global warming" that is currently under way. Deforestation also contributes to global warming. Trees use carbon dioxide and give off oxygen in its place, which helps to create the optimal balance of gases in the atmosphere. As more forests are logged for timber or cut down to make way for farming, however, there are fewer trees to perform this critical function. Population growth is another factor in global warming, because as more people use fossil fuels for heat, transportation and manufacturing the level of greenhouse gases continues to increase. As more farming occurs to feed millions of new people, more greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere.

2.9 Impacts of Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect's impact is to make life as we know it possible on planet Earth, but the greenhouse effect may also bring an end to life as we know it. The greenhouse effect refers to the trapping of heat by certain gases in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide and methane. Although these gases occur in only trace amounts, they block significant amounts of heat from escaping out into space, thus keeping the Earth warm enough for us to survive. Humans have been adding greenhouse gases in excessive amounts to the atmosphere ever since the Industrial Revolution, which is enhancing the greenhouse effect and resulting in what is now known as global warming. This increase in greenhouse gases has the potential to cause catastrophic problems for Earth and its inhabitants.

Droughts and Floods Ironically, changes in the climate due to excess greenhouse gases are causing both increased drought and increased flooding. Violent storm activity will increase as temperatures rise and more water evaporates from the oceans. This includes more powerful hurricanes, pacific typhoons, and an increased frequency of severe localized storms and tornadoes. As these storms often result in flooding and property damage, insurance premiums are skyrocketing in coastal areas as insurance companies struggle to cover escalating costs. Warming also causes faster evaporation on land. Many dry areas, including the American West, Southern Africa, and Australia are experiencing more severe droughts. The amount of land on the Earth suffering from drought conditions has doubled since 1970. This has occurred even as total global rainfall has increased by an estimated 10%! Environmental Impact:

According the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) and the clearing of land. Most of the burning occurs in automobiles, in factories, and in electric power plants that provide energy for houses and office buildings. The burning of fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide, whose chemical formula is CO2. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that slows the escape of heat into space. Trees and other plants remove CO2 from the air during photosynthesis, the process they use to produce food. The clearing of land contributes to the buildup of CO2 by reducing the rate at which the gas is removed from the atmosphere or by the decomposition of dead vegetation. Continued global warming could have many damaging effects. It might harm Plants and animals that live in the sea. It could also force animals and plants on land to move to new habitats. Weather patterns could change, causing flooding, drought, and an increase in damaging storms. Global warming could melt enough polar ice to raise the sea level. In certain parts of the world, human diseases could spread, and crop yields could decline. The Human Price of Climate Change

Drought is driving current increases in food prices around the world, in combination with increased use of grains for fuel. Globally, the number of malnourished people decreased up until the late 1990s. Now that number is increasing. Disease carriers will expand their territory, either by moving to higher elevations in mountainous areas or by expanding their territory further from the equator. This expansion will expose millions of humans to the often deadly infectious diseases that these animals transmit. 150,000 annual deaths worldwide have been tied to climate change already, according to a 2005 World Health Organization report. Climate related deaths are expected to double in 25 years. Industrialized countries may be sheltered from the current impacts of climate change, but others are not. Heat waves and droughts are responsible for these deaths, as well as floods and more powerful storms linked to climate change. The Biggest Problem - Sea Level Rise

The most dangerous aspect of global warming is probably sea level rise. In fact, the world's oceans have already risen 4-8 inches. That may not sound like much, but it has been enough to cause the erosion of some islands. People have had to relocate to higher ground on low-lying islands in the South Pacific and off the coast of India as a result of the effects of global warming. Further sea level rise could cause great suffering. In Bangladesh alone, there are 15 million people living within 1 meter of sea level and another 8 million in a similar circumstance in India. Inhabited land could be inundated if sea levels continue to rise. Much of the world's best farmland is low-lying, as are many of the world's largest cities. Even a very modest rise in sea levels would have an enormous impact on Millions of people around the world. Approaching a Slippery Slope Global temperatures have risen about .8 Celsius or 1.4 Fahrenheit already. As a result of this increase, the vast arctic tundra is melting, releasing enormous volumes of both carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. This creates the possibility of a selfreinforcing loop of climate change: as more carbon dioxide and methane are released from the arctic tundra, the greenhouse effect will be further enhanced. The world's oceans are losing their ability to absorb carbon because of rising water temperatures, according to accumulating evidence. This is significant because the world's oceans hold 50 times more carbon than do the world's forests and grasslands. The decreasing capacity of the Earth's carbon sinks to absorb carbon could further increase the likelihood of runaway climate change.


Rapid Climate Shifts Scientists are becoming convinced that past cycles of climate change on the Earth have been anything but slow and incremental, ever since the idea that the Earth may warm over time as a result of human-created climate change has reached the public consciousness. Climate change happens suddenly and violently. Research indicates that the Earth's climate exists in a stable state for many thousands of years. Then, pressure for change builds from increases or decreases in carbon levels as well as changes in solar radiation. At some point, the Earth reaches a tipping point where global climate systems and ocean currents are radically altered over the course of only a few years, or even months. Once that threshold is crossed, the Earth's climate goes through a period of dramatic disequilibrium, finally settling down in a new stable state that is very different from the previous one. There is no turning back if we cross the threshold and reach a tipping point. Weather patterns all over the world may be disrupted, ending life as we know it. We must not gamble with all of life on Earth. You should work to take decisive action to avoid devastating climate change. Global warming and climate change The terms 'global warming' and 'climate change' are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Global warming is the gradual increase of the Earths average surface temperature, due to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Climate change is a broader term. It refers to long-term changes in climate, including average temperature and rainfall. Impacts of climate change Drought Climate change is one of the greatest social, economic and environmental challenges of our time. Human activity is causing the climate to change. This, in turn, is having an impact on Australia's rainfall, temperatures, bushfire frequency, health, heritage and biodiversity for current and future generations. During the past 100 years, global average surface temperature increased by about 0.7C. Since 1910 the average temperature of Australia has risen by about 1C. Although these increases sound small, they have a big impact on the world's climate. Greenhouse effect in Agriculture: Increase in soil water deficits i.e. dry soils become drier, therefore increased need for irrigation but: Could improve soil workability in wetter regions and diminish poaching and erosion risk The range of current crops will move northward New crop varieties may need to be selected Horticultural crops are more susceptible to changing conditions than arable crops Field vegetables will be particularly affected by temperature changes Increase in disease transmission by faster growth rates of pathogens in the environment and more efficient and abundant vectors Rate of evolution will increase in hotter, drier conditions and in extreme years.


Temperature, rainfall projections The projections for Australias climate make it clear that farmers and other Australians should be prepared for a hotter, drier future. Changes in temperature, rainfall, and extreme events will affect water availability, water and soil quality, fire risk, and the incidence of pests, weeds, and disease. Although these impacts will vary across different agricultural activities and regions they may adversely affect crop yields, pasture growth and livestock production, production costs and potentially lead to an overall decrease in Australian agricultural productivity Water Anticipated declines across most agricultural areas are likely to affect rivers and dams that supply most of the water used in Australian agriculture. Potential evaporation is likely to increase and this, combined with expected reductions in rainfall, suggest up to 20 per cent more droughts could occur across Australia by 2030. For example, in the Murray Darling Basin (MDB), there is likely to be less water available in the future. By 2030 the median decline in flows for the MDB is projected to be 11 per cent 9 per cent in the north and 13 per cent in the south. Cropping and stone fruits Grain yield and quality is likely to be affected by climate change in some parts of Australia. Crops reliant on irrigation are likely to be threatened where irrigation water availability is reduced. Australian temperate fruits are all likely to be negatively affected by warmer conditions, especially if they require a winter chill to simulate fruit production. Livestock Livestock systems are likely to be affected by climate through impacts on change in feed production and grazing management, feed quality, exposure to heat and cold stress, pest and disease impacts and increased soil erosion. For example, many livestock are already subjected to periods of high heat stress, particularly in the northern part of Australia. Increased heat stress on animals is expected as temperature and humidity levels increase. Health Mental health issues are often heightened in the context of extreme climatic events such as drought. Increased water temperatures It is projected that the greatest increase in sea surface temperature will occur off southeast Australia. Summer sea surface temperature records already indicate an increase of more than 1C since the 1940s off the east coast of Tasmania. Increases in sea surface temperature are likely to affect the distribution of many species in the south-east and offshore, with potential flow on effects to the broader marine ecosystem. The projected increase in sea surface temperature may also have adverse impacts on the production of 12

cool-water farmed aquaculture species, such as the salmon production industry in Tasmania. Changed flood frequency Increases in extreme rainfall events are projected for many regions, although the impacts are spatially variable. Increased extreme rainfall events are likely to result in more flash flooding, strains on sewerage and drainage systems, and challenges for emergency services. Reduced water quality Climate change is likely to increase the stress on rivers already under pressure from salinity, over-allocation and declining water quality. Higher water temperatures and reduced stream flows will adversely affect water quality affecting human uses and environmental conditions. Drought conditions are likely to exacerbate erosion and downstream sedimentation. Higher sediment loads enter rivers following extreme rainfall events or extreme bushfire events, both of which are projected to increase with climate change. Changed climatic conditions are also likely to produce conditions that favor riparian and aquatic weeds and algal blooms. Climate change in the future Drought the impacts of human induced climate change will continue into the future. In Australia, average temperature increases of 0.7 to 1.2C are likely by 2030 together with changes in rainfall patterns and the frequency and/or intensity of extreme weather events such as drought and severe storms. The Australian Government is working with CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology to model future climate change scenarios. Impact of future greenhouse effect on global vegetation and climate


We use the fully coupled atmosphere-ocean-land model, FOAM-LPJ, to predict future changes in global vegetation and climate due to continued rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2). In these simulations, we allow CO2 to transiently increase 1% per year until reaching 4xCO2. We perform separate simulations to investigate the irradiative (increased CO2 in the atmosphere leads to higher temperatures) and physiological (increased CO2 in plants leads to greater photosynthesis) effects of rising CO2 and to compare simulations with interactive and fixed vegetation cover. The model predicts that in the future, tropical rainforests will suffer due to higher temperatures and reduced rainfall while the boreal forests will continue to shift pole ward. The model simulates a substantial heat stress on the boreal forest, which causes a vast loss of trees along the southern portions of the modern boreal forest, although the likelihood of this vegetation response remains uncertain. Vegetation feedbacks on the atmosphere are not substantial on a global average but produce important regional effects, such as a reduced warming trend over the areas of boreal tree loss in Eurasia. Global Warming and the Earth's Water Cycle

Increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gases resulting from the burning of fossil fuels and the deforestation of forests have altered the composition of the atmosphere, resulting in an increase in the amount of heat energy trapped at or near the Earth's surface. This enhancement of the greenhouse effect is increasing surface temperatures while provoking other changes in climate as well. Both model results and observational evidence indicate that roughly 80% of the net additional heat energy trapped at the Earth's surface by the build-up of greenhouse gases is transferred back to the atmosphere through increased evaporation of water from the land and ocean, where condensation returns the additional heat to the atmosphere causing warming, while enhancing precipitation. The remaining 20% of the net additional heat from the enhanced greenhouse effect contributes directly to warming of the surface and the lower atmosphere. Both contributions lead to a general warming of the Earth's climate and to an increase in the water vapor in the atmosphere (warming increases the atmosphere's water-holding capacity), thereby further enhancing the greenhouse effect. Thus, the trapped heat energy serves to accelerate the cycling of water (as water vapor) from the surface to the atmosphere, and enhances the transfer of the water vapor back to the surface as rain and snow (condensation and precipitation). The increased availability of water vapor in the atmosphere also leads to a significant increase in the energy available to drive storms and associated weather fronts, therefore affecting rainfall rates, precipitation amounts, storm intensity, and related run.


The Greenhouse Effect and the Carbon Cycle

Figure: A thicker blanket of greenhouse gases traps more infrared radiation and raises temperatures Life on earth is made possible by energy from the sun, which arrives mainly in the form of visible light. About 30 per cent of sunlight is scattered back into space by the outer atmosphere, but the rest reaches the earth's surface, which reflects it in the form of a calmer, more slow-moving type of energy called infrared radiation. (This is the sort of heat thrown off by an electric grill before the bars begin to grow red.) Infrared radiation is carried slowly aloft by air currents, and its eventual escape into space is delayed by greenhouse gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone, and methane.
Greenhouse gases make up only about 1 per cent of the atmosphere, but

they act like a blanket around the earth, or like the glass roof of a greenhouse -- they trap heat and keep the planet some 30 degrees C warmer than it would be otherwise. Human activities are making the blanket "thicker" -- the natural levels of these gases are being supplemented by emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas; by additional methane and nitrous oxide produced by farming activities and changes in land use; and by several longlived industrial gases that do not occur naturally. These changes are happening at unprecedented speed. If emissions continue to grow at current rates, it is almost certain that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide will double from pre-industrial levels during the 21st century. It is possible they will triple. The result, known as the "enhanced greenhouse effect," is a warming of the earth's surface and lower atmosphere. The IPCC assesses with very high confidence that the globally averaged net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming. The best case computer climate models estimate that the average global temperature will rise by 1.8 C to 4.0 C by the year 2100. A temperature increase of 0.74 C occurred last century and for the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2 C per decade is projected should greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at their current pace and are allowed to double from their pre-industrial level. A rise in temperature will be accompanied by changes in climate -- in such things as cloud cover, precipitation, wind patterns, and the duration of seasons. In its Fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC projects that heat waves and heavy precipitation events are very likely to increase in frequency in the 21st century. 15

In a world that is crowded and under stress, millions of people depend on weather patterns, such as monsoon rains, to continue as they have in the past. Changes, at a minimum, will be difficult and disruptive.

Figure: The Carbon Cycle

Carbon dioxide is responsible for over 60 per cent of the "enhanced greenhouse

effect." Humans are burning coal, oil, and natural gas at a rate that is much, much faster than the speed at which these fossil fuels were created. This is releasing the carbon stored in the fuels into the atmosphere and upsetting the carbon cycle, the millennia-old, precisely balanced system by which carbon is exchanged between the air, the oceans, and land vegetation. Currently, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are rising by over 10 per cent every 20 years. Climate change is inevitable because of past and current emissions. The climate does not respond immediately to external changes, but after 150 years of industrialization, global warming has momentum, and it will continue to affect the earth's natural systems for hundreds of years even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced and atmospheric levels stop rising.


Fossil fuel use is boosting atmospheric levels of carbon, upsetting an age-old balance. Increasing Air Temperature Increase in air temperature - popularly called as global warming - refers to mean temperature of entire globe averaged over all months and all places.

Figure: Global Air Temperature Melting Of Ice Caps The Arctic ice cap is floating; if it were to melt entirely there would be no change in sea levels. However, Antarctica is a continent, a land mass, it isnt floating and any melting here adds to the sea level as does melting of ice sheets and glaciers in places such as Greenland. Desertification Shifting weather patterns mean some areas receive less rainfall; the ground becomes barren and unable to sustain crops. In many parts of the world the layer of topsoil is both very thin and very poor. The dry, dusty soil is readily blown away and the area becomes desert. African and Asian countries are particularly hard hit.

2.10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Greenhouse Effect

2.10.1 Advantages of Greenhouse Effect Arctic, Antarctic, Siberia, and other frozen regions of earth may experience more plant growth and milder climates. The next ice age may be prevented from occurring. Northwest Passage through Canada's formerly-icy north opens up to sea transportation. Less need for energy consumption to warm cold places. Fewer deaths or injuries due to cold weather. Longer growing seasons could mean increased agricultural production in some local areas.


Mountains increase in height due to melting glaciers, becoming higher as they rebound against the missing weight of the ice. Boundary disputes between countries over low-lying islands will disappear. 2.10.2 Disadvantages of Green House Effect Ocean circulation disrupted, disrupting and having unknown effects on world climate. Higher sea level leading to flooding of low-lying lands and deaths and disease from flood and evacuation. Deserts get drier leaving to increased desertification. Changes to agricultural production that can lead to food shortages. Water shortages in already water-scarce areas. Starvation, malnutrition, and increased deaths due to food and crop shortages. More extreme weather and an increased frequency of severe and catastrophic storms. Increased disease in humans and animals. Increased deaths from heat waves. Extinction of additional species of animals and plants. Loss of animal and plant habitats. Increased emigration of those from poorer or low-lying countries to wealthier or higher countries seeking better (or non-deadly) conditions. Additional use of energy resources for cooling needs. Increased air pollution. Increased allergy and asthma rates due to earlier blooming of plants. Melt of permafrost leads to destruction of structures, landslides, and avalanches. Permanent loss of glaciers and ice sheets. Cultural or heritage sites destroyed faster due to increased extremes. Increased acidity of rainfall. Earlier drying of forests leading to increased forest fires in size and intensity. Increased cost of insurance as insurers pay out more claims resulting from increasingly large disasters. Aggressiveness will increase, leading to an increase in the murder rate.


Chapter Three: Conclusion & References 3.1 Conclusion

In conclusion we say that a greenhouse is a structure with a glass or plastic roof and frequently glass or plastic walls; it heats up because incoming visible solar radiation from the sun is absorbed by plants, soil, and other things inside the building. There are two meanings of the term "greenhouse effect". There is a "natural" greenhouse effect that keeps the Earth's climate warm and habitable. There is also the "man-made" greenhouse effect, which is the enhancement of Earth's natural greenhouse effect by the addition of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels (mainly petroleum, coal, and natural gas). The Greenhouse Effect is real. There is no question that the presence of CO2 and other greenhouse gases keeps this planet comfortably warm. The alarming crisis of Global Warming arises from the ever-increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere as a direct result of human activity. All of the science suggests that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations will inevitably lead to a rise in global temperature. How much and how quickly temperature will rise is disputed. Nonetheless, as scientists and citizens, we have a responsibility to act now, to educate and work towards changing our habits to save the planet.

3.2 References 1. Web sites:

en.wikipedia.org content.usatoday.com library.thinkquest.org www.usgcrp.gov www.latexglove.info www.ehow.com www.esrl.noaa.gov