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Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming - Essay Example

Some of the radiation is altered by the ozone layer, which inhibits ultraviolet radiation from passing directly to the surface to the earth. Much of the radiation that makes it to earth is absorbed and stored as heat in oceans and other large bodies of water. Radiation that strikes portions of the earth with a high albedo, such as solar ice caps and glaciers is reradiated back out into space. In fact, ultimately, the vast majority of solar radiation that enters the atmosphere is destined to be reradiated back into space. But a small percentage of that radiation gets trapped in the atmosphere as it tries to bounce back into space. Certain gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane act to trap the radiation, causing the atmosphere to retain the radiation as heat. This warming of the earth’s atmosphere as a result of trapped radiation is called The Greenhouse Effect. Gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane are called greenhouse gases, due to their tendency to trap radiation, which causes the atmosphere to stay warm. Without The Greenhouse Effect, life on earth would be very different and impossible for humans. The Greenhouse Effect is directly related to the phenomenon known as Global Warming or Global Climate Change. The earth’s atmosphere is constantly changing. ...
Humans are the first species in the history of earth to burn massive amounts of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. Burning these fuels puts carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In recent years, the average global temperature has risen dramatically. Changes in global temperature usually happen very gradually, so many people are concerned that a rapid change in temperature will lead to destructive weather patterns, crop failures, increased spread of disease and insect pests (Roberts, 1994). Many scientists feel that this will lead to extinction on a mass scale and major disruptions to human activities. The continued introduction of greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane that results from agricultural, manufacturing and transportation activities will surely result in a warmer global climate and stress on nearly all natural systems that sustain life on our planet. There are courses of action that can be taken to reduce or even reverse the warming trend that earth is now experiencing. One of the most immediate things we can to is to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses we are putting into the atmosphere. Much of this comes from the transportation we use every day. Cars burn gasoline, which greatly contributes to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Driving less, or not at all, is one way we can slow global warming. Many people are living in communities that give them easy access to public transportation and to workplaces. More civil planners are providing spaces for walking paths and bicycle lanes in their plans. This means people have carbon free ways to get to work. Using alternative fuels and increasing fuel efficiency in cars is another way to prevent ...Show more
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Summary

The Greenhouse Effect is the result of an interplay between the contents of our atmosphere and solar radiation. Our atmosphere is made of many different types of gasses. Nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide are the principal ones. There are other gasses that can be found in trace amounts, such as ozone and methane that play an important role…
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