Greenhouse effect is a process by which solar radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases and the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere is increased. This increase in the temperature of the surroundings is responsible for global warming. Gases like Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapour, etc.
Step 1: Solar radiation reaches the Earth’s atmosphere – some of this is reflected back into space.
Step 2: The rest of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the land and the oceans, heating the Earth.
Step 3: Heat radiates from Earth towards space.
Step 4: Some of this heat is trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, keeping the Earth warm enough to sustain life.
Step 5: Human activities such as burning fossil fuels, agriculture and land clearing are increasing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
Step 6: This is trapping extra heat, and causing the Earth’s temperature to rise.
Causes of Greenhouse Effect
The major causes of the greenhouse effect are:
Burning of Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels are an important part of our lives. They are widely used in transportation and to produce electricity. Burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide. With the increase in population, the utilization of fossil fuels has increased. This has led to an increase in the release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Plants and trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Due to the cutting of trees, there is a considerable increase in the greenhouse gases which increases the earth’s temperature.
Nitrous oxide used in fertilizers is one of the contributors to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere.
Industrial Waste and Landfills
The industries and factories produce harmful gases which are released in the atmosphere. Landfills also release carbon dioxide and methane that adds to the greenhouse gases.