The Green House Effect Essay Research Paper

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The Green House Effect Essay, Research Paper I N T R O D U C T I O N For hundreds of years, climates on earth have gone through great changes. The changes are caused by many activities that have occurred and are presently occurring on earth. Increasing evidence indicates that human impact on the environment is causing local and perhaps worldwide changes in climate. At various times, glaciers have moved down across the continents into regions that are now warm. This effect of global warming is the meltdown of glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica that could raise sea levels all over the world. The burning of fossil fuels- coal, natural gas, and oil- are constantly adding carbon dioxide into the air. In addition, industries are producing more chloroflourocarbons (CFCs), nitrous

oxide and methane, which are all greenhouse gases (Koral 4). The resulting warming of the atmosphere, or Global Warming, could have serious effects. W H A T I S T H E G R E E N H O U S E E F F E C T ? Similar to a greenhouse, the earth is warmed by the sun. The sunlight striking Earth’s surface is converted into infrared (heat) radiation. Most of this heat will escape back into space, but today much more of it is being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. Due to the resemblance to the way that heat is trapped in a greenhouse, scientists call this trend toward increasing global warming, the Greenhouse Effect (Koral 9). Scientists also say that because of the greenhouse effect, our weather may change more in the next decade than in the last tens of thousands of years. They

predict that the earth will become hotter. For instance, in some parts of the world, winters will be warmer, while summers will be hotter. As mentioned earlier, another possible result of the greenhouse effect will be that the world’s oceans will rise, probably one to four feet in the next century (Koral 11). The atmosphere is the “blanket” of air that surrounds the earth and protects us from the sun’s harmful rays. It basically contains nitrogen ( approx. 80%), and oxygen (approx. 20%). There are also small amounts of many other gases, one of these being carbon dioxide (”Climate”). Carbon dioxide plays a vital role in living things. The amount of it in a planet’s atmosphere also affects the temperature on that planet. Carbon dioxide exists naturally in the

atmosphere in minuscule quantities. However, it is also produced every time we burn something that contains carbon (”Greenhouse Effect”). Carbon is in the category of fossil fuels-coal, oil, and natural gas. Each time we burn a fossil fuel, we add more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Right now, people of the world are putting more than 5.5 billion tons of carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere every year. As more and more carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere, less heat can escape, and the planet gets warmer (”Greenhouse Effect”). Other gases are also trapping the planet’s heat. These include CFCs, methane, and nitrous oxide. Like carbon dioxide, some of these other greenhouse gases have been in our planet’s atmosphere for a

long time (Koral 18). This extraordinary rise in the quantities of greenhouse gases have tremendously upset the atmosphere’s fragile and delicate balance. The result of this may cause the most serious environmental dilemma this planet has ever faced. How did it all begin? GASES To run our factories, heat our homes, and run our cars, we need energy. We get most of this energy by burning coal, oil, and gas. Evidently, every time we burn one of this fossil fuels, we release carbon dioxide gas, which only contributes to the greenhouse effect and global warming. Some scientists have been concerned for a long time about what might happen if there was too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Many scientists even claimed that if the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubled,