The Greenhouse Effect Explained

The greenhouse effect was first argued in 1824 by Joseph Fourier. The argument was strengthened in 1827 and 1838 by Claude Pouillet. John Tyndall further studied the greenhouse effect in 1859.

Alexander Graham Bell also stated in 1917 that burning fossil fuels would cause a “hot-house,” and was an advocate of solar energy.

But what is the greenhouse effect?

The “greenhouse effect” is a term used as an example of sorts. A greenhouse is made of glass, and even during the cold winter months, the inside of a greenhouse is warm. The heat is trapped inside of the glass and can’t escape. Even at night, it’s still rather warm inside of a greenhouse.

Earth’s atmosphere provides the same kind of effect.

The atmosphere is just like a greenhouse. Gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, trap heat in the atmosphere to keep the earth warm. Even at night, the greenhouse gases keep the earth warmer.

Natural gases can help humanity stay warm, but as more gases are spewed into the atmosphere, it’s causing a vicious cycle of warming. If the greenhouse effect gets too strong, as we’re seeing in today’s world, the earth gets warmer and warmer.

Greenhouse gases trap the heat, not allowing it to escape from the atmosphere.

Ways to Curb Carbon Dioxide

There are ways for you to curb your carbon dioxide output, but the earth also does its own part to stop the rapid accumulation of carbon dioxide. Plants and trees take in carbon dioxide, so, theoretically, it’s possible to plant more trees, and have plants soak up the carbon dioxide.

But the effect will be minimal.

Trees are being cut down to create farmland for the growing population, and in a lot of places, the trees are burned down, causing the trapped carbon dioxide to be emitted back into the atmosphere.

The ocean also soaks up a good amount of carbon dioxide, but the excess levels of carbon are causing the ocean to get more acidic.

Coral is suffering, too. The coral reefs are not only being destroyed, but they’re becoming sick, too. Naturally, the coral shouldn’t be bleached out; they should be colorful. The coral reefs of the earth lead to biodiversity, and if they’re starting to suffer from too much carbon dioxide, the creaturesof the sea will suffer and die, too.

CO2 and the Role of Climate Change

CO2 plays a major role in climate change, and it’s produced through burning fossil fuels, deforestation and cement production, among other activities. What we know is that for 800,000 years, carbon dioxide levels ranged from 180 ppm to 270 ppm at preindustrial levels.

Industrialization caused these figures to rise.

Fifty years ago, these levels reached 313 ppm, or parts per million.

In 2013, the planet passed the 400-ppm mark, showing that there are more greenhouse gases on the planet than in any other time in the past 800,000 years.

Other planets in the solar system also have the greenhouse effect. Venus has a greenhouse effect, too. The planet is 462C, much hotter than Earth. Venus, according to scientists, may have had water and lower temperatures like earth, but the water evaporated and caused immense heating.

Water vapor is an even more powerful contributor to greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

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