Green House Effect

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Submitted By bharadwaj
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9/25/12

THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT

THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT
What is the Greenhouse Effect? Life on earth is possible because the sun provides energy and warmth. The sun's rays pass through the atmosphere and are absorbed by the earth's surface, which heats up and radiates energy back into space. Some of the gases in the atmosphere capture and hold radiated energy, keeping the surface of the earth warm, much as the glass of a greenhouse keeps the plants inside warm. Without these greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), all radiated heat would be lost into space and the surface of the earth would be cold and barren. This natural phenomenon acts like a blanket around the earth, is essential for life, and is often referred to as the greenhouse effect. Man-made emissions are leading to increased amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The increases in greenhouse gases are trapping more of the energy radiated from earth and are likely to lead to global warming and weather extremes. The possible impact of human activity on the greenhouse effect was first recognized in the early 1800s. By the turn of this century, calculations were being made relating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide to temperature change. In the early 1900s it was estimated that doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would lead to a temperature increase of up to nine degrees Celsius. Since then, carbon dioxide levels have increased by 26 per cent, and global temperatures have increased approximately 0.5 degrees Celsius.

Sources Man-made greenhouse gases include those manufactured and those released due to processes controlled through human activity (eg. The burning of fossil fuels). Some greenhouse gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), are entirely man-made while for others, such as carbon dioxide, only a small percentage is manmade. While man-made…...

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