Greenhouse Gases and its Effects

As we all know the planet earth is the only known life-supporting planet in the solar system. Air, water, and soil are three vital natural resources. Nowadays, pollution of these elements has become a non-curable headache for us. As the part of development, urbanization, and industrialization, many undesirable substances have been deposited in these natural resources. This has led to severe consequences in the form of global warming, greenhouse effect, climate change, etc. Here we will learn about the greenhouse effect and the greenhouse gases, how they lead to global warming and change in the climate.

Greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse gases

A greenhouse is a place where plants requiring regulated climatic conditions are kept and its roof which is covered by glasses. In colder climatic conditions, in order to maintain a warmer atmosphere for plants, they are kept in the closed glass houses. Through these glasses, sunlight enters the house and later, the glasses of the greenhouse traps the heat. By this process, the temperature inside the greenhouse will be higher than the temperature outside.

The same phenomenon takes place in our atmosphere and it has the same effect as a greenhouse. When the UV (ultraviolet) radiations enter the earth, a part of them is absorbed by the earth and rest is reflected back to the atmosphere. Some gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, etc. trap the reflected UV radiations and do not let the heat to escape from the atmosphere. This eventually elevates the temperature of the earth’s surface. This atmospheric effect is known as the greenhouse effect. The gases that are involved in the greenhouse effect are called the greenhouse gases.

The major contributors of the greenhouses gases are factories, automobiles, deforestation, etc. The increased number of factories and automobiles increases the amount of these gases in the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases never let the radiations to escape from the earth and enhance the surface temperature of the earth. This is called global warming.Hence, the greenhouse effect leads to global warming which also leads to climate changes.

Effects of Greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse gases.

As mentioned above the main causes of the greenhouse gases are the emissions released from the burning of fossil fuel use, deforestation, intensive livestock farming, use of synthetic fertilizers, industrial processes, etc.

Let us see few main effects caused by the increased greenhouse gases.

The main effect of increased greenhouse gases are:

  • Global Warming


It is the phenomenon of a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its water bodies. The main cause for this environmental issue is the increased volumes of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane released by the burning of fossil fuels, emissions from the vehicles, industries and other human activities.

  • Depletion of  Ozone Layer


Ozone Layer protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun and this ozone layer is found in the upper regions of the stratosphere. The depletion of the Ozone layer results in the entry of the harmful UV rays ion to the earth atmosphere which results in skin cancer and can also change the climate drastically. The major cause of this phenomenon is mainly dues the accumulation of natural greenhouse gases the use of other synthetic gases including chloro-fluoro-carbons  CFCs and Hydro- Chloro-fluoro-carbons HCFCs.

  • Smog and Air Pollution

Smog and Air Pollution


Smog is the blend of both smoke and fog. Smog can be caused both by the natural disasters and man-made activities. In general, smog is generally formed by the accumulation of more greenhouse gases including nitrogen and sulfur oxides.The major contributors to the formation of smog are the air pollutants including automobile and industrial emissions, agricultural fires and natural forest fires and the reaction these chemicals cause among themselves.

  • Acidification of Water Bodies

Acidification of Water Bodies


Increases in the total amount of greenhouse gases in the air have turned most of the world’s water bodies into acidic. The major contributors are the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide emissions, etc. The water bodies including oceans, seas, and rivers, absorb these gases from the atmosphere and react with water bodies to form carbonic acid and therefore acidifying the water bodies.

  • Effects on plant growth and nutrition levels

Effects on plant growth and nutrition levels

As we all know plant require carbon dioxide, water, sunlight to prepare their food by the process of Photosynthesis.  In the same way, plants also require carbon dioxide along with other nutrients to grow. Due to the increased volumes of greenhouse gases and higher levels of carbon dioxide in the air makes more available of carbon dioxide gas to the plants compared to the other nutrients which effects on plant growth and the decrease in nutrition levels including protein, phosphorus, etc.

To learn more about the greenhouse effect and global warming, visit BYJU’S.

Practise This Question

Percentage of nitrogen and oxygen in the air is ____ respectively.

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