GLOBAL WARMING AND THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT
Global warming is the long-term warming of the planet’s overall temperature. Though this warming trend has been going on for a long time, its pace has significantly increased in the last hundred years due to the burning of fossil fuels. As the human population has increased, so has the volume of fossil fuels burned. Fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas, and burning them causes what is known as the “greenhouse effect” in Earth’s atmosphere.
Global warming has presented another issue called climate change. Sometimes these phrases are used interchangeably, however, they are different. Climate change refers to changes in weather patterns and growing seasons around the world. It also refers to sea level rise caused by the expansion of warmer seas and melting ice sheets and glaciers. Global warming causes climate change, which poses a serious threat to life on earth in the forms of widespread flooding and extreme weather. Scientists continue to study global warming and its impact on Earth.
Behind the phenomena of global warming and climate change lies the increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. A greenhouse gas is any gaseous compound in the atmosphere that is capable of absorbing infrared radiation, thereby trapping and holding heat in the atmosphere. By increasing the heat in the atmosphere, greenhouse gases are responsible for the greenhouse effect, which ultimately leads to global warming. (The effects of global warming can been seen across the globe.)
Preventive Measures of Global Warming
- The first thing we should do is stop using or minimize the use of fossil fuels. Instead of this, we can use renewable energy sources like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, etc.
- We need to minimize our energy consumption. We can help it by using energy-efficient devices like LED light bulbs.
- Transportation is one of the significant reasons for CO2 emission. We can reduce carbon emission by promoting sustainable transportation like public transportation, carpooling, etc.
- Sustainable infrastructure is also an important measure to fight against global warming. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions from buildings (through various activities like heating, ACs, hot water, etc.), we should opt for new low-energy buildings and renovating the existing constructions.
- Deforestation needs to be controlled if we want to contribute to treating global warming. Stop cutting trees and focus on reforestation and afforestation with proper forest management.
- We need to limit our consumption (not only food but other uses as well – like clothing, cleaning products, cosmetics, etc.). If consumption is less, it will generate less waste to dispose of.
- Save water to minimize carbon pollution because it takes much energy to pump, heat, and treat water for usage. Hence, try to take shorter showers, turn off the taps while brushing teeth, use your dishwater & washing machine to full-capacity, etc.
- Simultaneously, focus on saving energy because the more you use the energy, the more carbon in the atmosphere resulting in global warming. Hence, switch off the electronic appliances, gadgets, devices, etc. if you are not using it.
- Make a habit of recycling waste because it helps a lot to cut down the carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
- Try to use cold water instead of hot water for a shower or washing clothes, etc. It also helps to minimize carbon emissions.
- Raise awareness about global warming- how it causes, its effects, and how we can prevent it. You can share information with your family, friends, children, or your colleague about global warming.
GREEN HOUSE EFFECT
The greenhouse effect is a process that occurs when gases in Earth’s atmosphere trap the Sun’s heat. This process makes Earth much warmer than it would be without an atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is one of the things that makes Earth a comfortable place to live.
GREEN HOUSE EFFECT WORK
As you might expect from the name, the greenhouse effect works … like a greenhouse! A greenhouse is a building with glass walls and a glass roof. Greenhouses are used to grow plants, such as tomatoes and tropical flowers.
A greenhouse stays warm inside, even during the winter. In the daytime, sunlight shines into the greenhouse and warms the plants and air inside. At nighttime, it’s colder outside, but the greenhouse stays pretty warm inside. That’s because the glass walls of the greenhouse trap the Sun’s heat. The greenhouse effect works much the same way on Earth. Gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, trap heat similar to the glass roof of a greenhouse. These heat-trapping gases are called greenhouse gases.
During the day, the Sun shines through the atmosphere. Earth’s surface warms up in the sunlight. At night, Earth’s surface cools, releasing heat back into the air. But some of the heat is trapped by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. That’s what keeps our Earth a warm and cozy 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius), on average.
Human activities are changing Earth’s natural greenhouse effect. Burning fossil fuels like coal and oil puts more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere.
NASA has observed increases in the amount of carbon dioxide and some other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Too much of these greenhouse gases can cause Earth’s atmosphere to trap more and more heat. This causes Earth to warm up.
Prevention of Greenhouse Effect
Now that we have made a list of causes, finding alternates to these causes becomes by following the below mentioned preventive measures:
- Afforestation: Afforestation on a large scale area helps in decreasing the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
- Conservation of energy: Switching to renewable sources of energy such as solar energy, wind energy, etc will reduce the use of fossil fuels. This eventually reduces the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
- Policy intervention: When the government comes up with strict policies to maintain the overall air quality of the city.