Greenhouse Effect Meaning

What is the greenhouse effect:

The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon of the thermal warming of the Earth and is essential to maintain the temperature of the planet in ideal conditions for survival, and without it, the Earth would be too cold, making it difficult for species to develop and exist. of life.

It is called the greenhouse effect because the same effect can be observed, although to a lesser extent, inside a greenhouse.

In the last decades, however, the concentration of these insulation gases has increased considerably due to the action of man, human activity, through the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and the action of industries, increasing air pollution.

This excess layer of insulating gases is causing part of these rays to not be able to return to space, causing an increase in temperature throughout the planet, called global warming, and also producing climate change, therefore, the name of greenhouse effect is used to describe it.

In 1997, with the aim of reducing gas emissions, the United Nations (UN) called on several countries to sign a treaty called the Kyoto Protocol, which obliges industrialized countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse 5.2% less than the 1990 average. The United States, one of the countries that contributes the most to this damage to the environment, has not yet signed the document.

The greenhouse effect and global warming

Although some scientists believe that global warming occurs due to natural causes, most claim that it occurs due to the excessive emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases unbalance the Earth's energy balance and destroy the ozone layer, leaving planet Earth more vulnerable to the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Causes and consequences of the greenhouse effect

The greenhouse effect is caused by excess CO2 and water vapor, mainly, and other gases (such as methane, nitrogen oxide, chlorofluorocarbons and ozone) in the atmosphere.

The layer of greenhouse gases thickened after the Industrial Revolution, and the temperature began to rise significantly.

The high temperatures caused by greenhouse gases alter and unbalance the Earth's climate system. Some of the consequences are:

  • the rise in the average level of the oceans due to the melting of the polar ice caps,
  • the increase in the frequency of storms,
  • increasing heat waves,
  • desertification due to high temperatures and low rainfall,
  • the alteration or change of the rain regime or systems, serious modifications in the different seasons of the year,
  • etc.
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