The earth's atmosphere is composed of many gases, which allows the sun light to pass through and reach the surface of the earth. It is then absorbed and converted into heat energy which is re-emitted by surface of the earth during night. Now due to excessive presence of some of the greenhouse gases escaping of this heat energy from earth's atmosphere is delayed, resulting in a rise in temprature known as Global Warming.
The primary greenhouse gases abbrv. GHG in earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. They are able to trap heat (longwave radiation) in the atmosphere, keeping the earth surface warmer. Without which the average temperature of earth's surface would be much lower about -18ºc.
Main Greenhouse gases are:
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Methane (CH4)
- Nitrous oxide (N2O)
- Water vapor (H2O)
- Ozone (O3)
Fluorinated gases like:
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
- Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
- Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
- Perfluorocarbons (PFC), or perflurocompounds
Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Ozone (O3) are emitted to the atmosphere through natural processes as well as human activities (use of fossil fuels, industrial production, etc). The fluorinated gases on the other hand, are created and emitted almost exclusively through human activities. Human activities have led to a sharp and dangerous increase of these gases within the Earth's atmosphere.
The major problem is that these gases can remain in the atmosphere for decades. The combustion of fossil fuel (oil, natural gas and coal) by heavy industry and other human activities, such as transport and deforestation, are the primary reasons for increased emissions of these harmful gases.
Adverse effects of greenhouse gases
- Polar ice caps are melting
- Rising sea levels
- Temperature rising, more than 2 degree rise in Fahrenheit.
- Climate change due to global warming such as floods, storms, droughts, bush-fires and heat waves are occuring frequently.
- Low lying areas and coastal regions getting submerged forcing people to relocate.
- The harmful effects of presence of greenhouse gasses are ozone depletion, having adverse effects on biodiversity etc.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the gas most significantly responsible for greenhouse effect. Plant respiration and decomposition of organic material release more than 10 times the CO2 than released by human activities, but it was in balance for centuries being a part of the natural ecological proccess. Since the industrial revolution amounts of greenhouse gasese have increased rapidly.
Reducing effects of greenhouse gases
By reducing our carbon footprint, by conserving more energy and planting more trees adhereing to afforestation. We can prevent the alarming harmful effects of global warming.
- Conserve more energy for example by turning off lights while leaving a room and other such appliacnces like air-conditioner, fan etc. Also buy energy efficient items by checking for its energy star rating while purchasing new products.
- Unplug any appliances that is not used especially our mobile charging systems, and many other electric items.
- Replace light bulbs with new led and CFL bulbs, as they save more energy and produce 70% less heat than incandescent bulb and your power bill is also reduced.
- There is a possibility that coal, natural gas and oil will be depleted from the earth’s surface therefore, adopting safer and renewable sources of energy is imperative. We can also install Solar Power home lighting system to meet our energy requirements.
- By planting more trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in turn give off oxygen. One tree absorbs around one ton of carbon dioxide in the whole of its lifetime.
- Try to recycle and reuse to reduce the household material waste every year.