Sunday, January 23, 2011

Essay on The Greenhouse Effect

Essay on The Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect plays a crucial part in preserving the environment on earth. The use of chemicals given off from different material objects such as cars and aerosol cans throw off the greenhouse effect. Scientists believe that this may offset the earth’s climate in the future by creating holes in the atmosphere. This is known as global warming. Global warming can effect numerous aspects of the environment including water resources, coastal resources, agriculture, forests, and energy consumption.

In short, the greenhouse effect traps infrared rays given off by the sun under the earth’s atmosphere keeping the earth at a constant temperature allowing it to be habitable. Without it, the earth would stay at a constant temperature of 18 Celsius. It inherited its name because it resembles the way a greenhouse works; the atmosphere imitating the glass from the windows in a greenhouse.

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Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, and tropospheric ozone are the major gases that help keep the earth at a constant temperature. . Carbon dioxide is the most important because it is responsible for fifty five percent of the change of the intensity of the earth’s greenhouse effect. The increase of these gases are a result of population growth, industrial development, the increase of cities, and the cutting down of forests. Although the greenhouse effect is important, the increase in all of these things create an unexpected rise in temperature for the ecosystem. By doing this, polar ice caps, scientists believe, may melt creating worldwide flooding.

The greenhouse effect is a somewhat basic process. About fifty-one percent of the incoming solar radiation is absorbed by the earth’s surface and nineteen percent is absorbed by atmosphere and clouds. Of that, four percent is reflected by the surface, twenty percent is reflected by clouds, and six percent is reflected by the atmosphere itself. This emission of energy is mostly directed to space, however, only a minute amount actually makes it. The atmosphere uses greenhouse gases to absorb all the radiation. The greenhouse gases have increased greatly since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Many believe that due to this, the greenhouse effect may become enhanced and create an increase in the earth’s climate. Once this long wave energy is absorbed, the atmosphere just reflects it back to the earth’s surface and the cycle repeats itself until no more radiation is available for absorption.

With the earth’s current state of affairs (growth in population etc.), the greenhouse effect will gradually enhance creating a massive increase in the earth’s temperature. Eventually, global warming will set in disintegrating the earth’s atmosphere and causing the temperature to drastically drop. Scientists are now basing much of their research on making resources that are environmentally safe.

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