What are the sources and consequences of Greenhouse Effect?
- The greenhouse effect is a naturally occurring process that keeps the Earth’s surface and atmosphere warm.
- It is due to the fact that certain atmospheric gases like carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, are capable of trapping the sun’s heat.
- This natural trapping of heat or the greenhouse effect has made Earth habitable. This effect helps to maintain the Earth’s mean temperature at 15˚C while in absence of the greenhouse effect it would have been about -18˚C.
- However, due to human activities the concentrations of the greenhouse gases has increased which will enhance the greenhouse effect thereby, increasing the Earth’s surface temperature beyond 15˚C. This is referred to as global warming.
- Besides carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and water vapour other greenhouse gases are include CFCs and ozone.
- Methane is produced naturally when vegetation is burnt, digested or rotted in the absence of oxygen.
- It is also released in paddy fields, coal mines, from rotting garbage dumps and by fossil fuels. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are man-made industrial chemicals used in air conditioning etc.
- Nitrous oxide occurs naturally in the environment.
- In recent years, their quantities have increased significantly due to the use of chemical fertilizers and the burning of fossil fuels.
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