Global Warming and Greenhouse Effect


Life sustains on Earth by depending on the energy coming from the sun. About 60 percent of the energy and light reaching the Earth surface passes through the air and vapors where the harmful gases get segregated and absorbed. These gases are radiated upwards in the form of infrared radiation. About 90-92 percent of this infrared radiation is then received by the greenhouse gases and reflected back to the earth’s surface. Due to the ozone layer depletion and global warming, the greenhouse effect has become the primary reason for which the Earth surface now radiates more heat than it usually should.

Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse Effect

Our planet contains many gases which form a surface layer and prevent unwanted radiations to reach the surface. These gases are in certain proportions breaking which, the components get disturbed. The greenhouse gas absorbs and emits these radiations within the range which ultimately causes the greenhouse effect. The common greenhouse gases found in Earth’s atmosphere are:

  1. Ozone  (O3)
  2. Methane (CH4)
  3. Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  4. Water vapor (H2O)
  5. Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  6. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

 Global warming and its Causes

Causes of Global warming

With the approach of Industrial revolutions, the use of chemicals in the factories has increased to a dangerous amount. Along with it, deforestation due to industrial or economic purposes and the excess burning of fossil fuels like natural gas, oil, and coal, has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide from 315 ppmv (part per million by volume) to about 363 ppmv since 1958. These are some of the primary reasons for which the heat gets trapped in the atmosphere thus causing global warming.

Consequences of Global warming

  • Warmer climate: On average, the Earth’s temperature will become warmer than earlier, while some places will get warm while others may not.
  • The rise of sea level: Due to global warming, the glaciers and ice sheets of Greenland and Atlantic will melt which will add water to the sea level, thus causing many disasters like Tsunami. A rise in sea level will also have an economic impact especially on the low-lying coastal areas and islands causing unavoidable soil erosion.
  • Agricultural impact: According to multiple experiments, with the high concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, the growth of crops is twice than the normal growth. At the same time, the shifting of the climatic pattern may change the areas where crop production becomes faster and better thus affecting the normal amount of agriculture.

How to prevent Global Warming?

We cannot stop the rise in the level of carbon dioxide but it can be reduced by

  1. By using fuel-efficient vehicles.
  2.  Replace regular incandescent light bulb with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.
  3. Switch to solar panels and other energy-efficient appliances which save both money and also reduces the carbon footprint.
  4. Turn off the light and other electronic devices if they are not in use.
  5. Plant more trees. By planting more trees helps in reducing global warming as plants utilize carbon dioxide during the process of photosynthesis, which is the main cause of Global warming.

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Practise This Question

Which of the following is/are the abiotic components of terrestrial habitats?