The Greenhouse Effect

Topics: Greenhouse gas, Carbon dioxide, Natural gas Pages: 2 (551 words) Published: June 16, 2013
Environmental Issue Essay – The Greenhouse Effect

The Greenhouse effect is a natural process that is imperative for our survival, warming the Earth’s surface. The sun emits energy that reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, some of it is reflected back to space whilst the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, nitrous oxide, ozone and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs’). The energy that is absorbed warms the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface maintaining a temperature of 33 degrees Celsius warmer than it would be without the Greenhouse effect, allowing life on Earth.

The Greenhouse effect naturally does its job without any need of human intervention. The problem the world faces is due to human activities such as, the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas), agriculture and land clearing which is increasing the concentrations of greenhouse gases, known as the Enhanced Greenhouse effect. Greater concentrations of greenhouse gases can result in the trapping of more heat that is dangerously increasing the temperature on the Earth’s surface. Other consequences of the Greenhouse effect include: increased droughts and flooding, less ice and snow, extreme weather incidents such as a bush fire and rising sea levels.

Greenhouse gas emissions come mostly from energy use. This is driven by economic growth, fuel used for electricity generation, and weather patterns affecting heating and cooling needs. Carbon Dioxide makes up 82% of human-made greenhouse gas emissions coming from petroleum and natural gas. Another Greenhouse gas Methane, makes up 9% of human-made greenhouse gas emissions coming from landfills, coalmines, oil and gas operations and agriculture. Nitrous Oxide makes up 5% of total emissions emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, certain fertilizers and industrial processors. Others gas emissions are by-products of industrial processors and through leakage....

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