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The Greenhouse Effect: Meaning, Features And Ways to Reduce the Impact

Each of us at least once has heard about the greenhouse effect, but not everyone knows what it means, what causes the greenhouse effect, and what we should do to reduce the influence on our planet preventing global warming and climate change.

What is the essence of the greenhouse effect?

This is a situation when the Sun heats the Earth and the surface of our planet under the influence of related processes becomes warmer than it should be. It happens because some solar energy is kept in the atmosphere, due to its better transparency to visible radiation incoming from the Sun than to infrared radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface.

How does it work?

The atmosphere consists of layers that are full of gases. These gases work like the glass in a greenhouse. They allow heat to get into the atmosphere, but do not allow much heat to get out to space. In this way, some solar radiation that the Earth has received gets through the atmosphere, and the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by atmospheric gases, and correspondingly warms the planet’s surface and the lower atmosphere.

Diagram showing how warming in the greenhouse effect occurs

What causes this phenomenon?

The greenhouse effect is caused by interaction of the Sun’s energy reflected from the Earth’s surface and greenhouse gases. The strength of this process depends on the intensity of the incoming radiation, which raises atmosphere’s temperature, and the volume of greenhouse gases that the atmosphere contains.

The greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and ozone. The most concentrated gases are water vapor and carbon dioxide. Water vapor is stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but it does not absorbs energy in longer wavelengths that carbon dioxide do. This affects the ability to transmit heat and trap it in the atmospheric layers.

Every year we produce more gases and it is becoming a growing problem towards nature. Human activities such as deforestation, burning of fuels or wood, and other strengthen the greenhouse effect and cause so called enhanced greenhouse effect.

Smokestacks of a Florida factory
Diagram showing how warming in the greenhouse effect occurs
Smokestacks of a Florida factory
Forest fire with a large burning area

What can we do to reduce the impact?

Progress makes our life much easier, more varied, and worse at the same time. The greenhouse effect is an important process needed for supporting life, but its strengthening by human activity leads to serious consequences such as global warming, climate change and natural disasters.

Every year people produce a huge amount of carbon dioxide. It is produced by factories, vehicles, and even by people and animals because of breathing. This is just a short list of sources.

Trees produce oxygen, thereby helping to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air. Over the past 100 years, people have burned and cut down huge areas of forest. This means there are fewer trees, and more carbon dioxide.

What should we do to prevent devastating effect? We can do that by:

  • saving forests from destruction;
Forest fire with a large burning area
  • tree planting;
  • using controversial ways of getting energy (not burning!);
  • limiting ourselves in using fuel cars, using eco types of vehicles or electric cars;
  • forming or joining pressure groups to fight environmental problems (such groups try to call public attention and put pressure on decision-makers and politicians);
  • joining a green project or program.

Nature protection is everyone’s concern, because by protection the environment from the destruction we protect ourselves and save it for future generations. Every country and every person is responsible for carbon dioxide and other emissions into the atmosphere. People are not able to influence the Sun’s energy, but able to control their activities that strengthen the greenhouse effect.

Let's care about our
enviroment together!

Once you take part in saving Tinto trees, you impove some piece of our world!

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