Global Warming and Greenhouse Gases
Humans are polluting our atmosphere causing the Greenhouse Effect. What’s the Greenhouse Effect? “The Greenhouse Effect can be visualized as follows: imagine that Earth has been encircled by a giant glass sphere. The heat of the sun penetrates through the glass. Some of the heat is absorbed by the Earth, and some is radiated back towards space. The radiated heat reaches the glass sphere and is prevented from dispersing any further”(Global Warming The Facts). This makes the heat bounce back towards the Earth, which heats it up tremendously.
The warming of the Earth is not a good thing. If the ice caps on the mountaintops were to melt it would raise the ocean by eight feet and many lives would be lost. Some people might say “so what eight feet.” “The worst possible scenario with this problem would be mass flooding in low lying areas of the Earth including many islands in the ocean which would basically disappear, most of Florida would be underwater, all coastline cities, and river deltas such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Egypt, Louisiana, and other parts of the U.S.”(Greenhouse Effect, 1998). All of this destruction does not even include what would happen to the Earth’s weather. There would be more hurricanes, tropical storms, extreme temperatures and droughts. Take a second now and just think how that would ruin our food supply. Would we all starve to death? I do not know but I am sure that would not be eating as well as we do today.
Now what causes all this chaos is a mixture of gases. “Greenhouse gases are transparent to certain wavelengths of the suns radiant energy, allowing them to penetrate deep into the atmosphere or all the way into the Earth’s surface. Greenhouse gases and clouds prevent some of the infrared radiation from escaping, trapping the heat near the Earth’s surface where it warms the lower atmosphere. Alteration of this natural barrier of atmospheric gases can raise or lower the mean global temperature of the Earth”(Greenhouse Gas).
There are four major gases that cause the greenhouse effect. These chemicals are Chloroflourocarbons (CFC’s), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), and Methane (CH4). “CFC’s destroy ozone molecules by the thousands, causing a smaller amount of ozone in the ozone layer. This allows more UV rays hit the Earth’s surface, causing a slight increase of the Earth’s temperature. The more ozone molecules destroyed, the more UV rays enter the Earth’s atmosphere, making the temperature even higher”(What Is The Greenhouse Effect).
The next major gas is carbon dioxide. “Small amounts of carbon dioxide in the air helps keep heat in the Earth in the vital process of the Greenhouse Effect. As car exhausts and industries continue to shoot carbon dioxide in the air, the amount of carbon dioxide will increase. This causes more heat to be kept, increasing the Earth’s temperature”(What Is The Greenhouse Effect).