- The greenhouse effect is the warming of the earth's surface and the air above it caused by gases in the air that trap energy from the sun. The heat-trapping gases are known as greenhouse gases.
During the day, the sun's solar energy penetrates the earths atmosphere. The earths surface then gets warme up. At ight the earths surface cools down, releasing the heat back into the air. Some of the heat,however, gets trapped by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. That is what keeps our earth at an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius.
However, the greenhouse effect is now too strong, and the earth is getting warmer. Too much greenhouse gas, created by human activities, is contained in the atmosphere, trapping solar energy (heat).
The Greenhouse Gases
1. Carbon dioxide - accounts for around three-quarters of the warming impact of current human, greenhouse gas emmisions.
- Burning fossil fuels
- Industrial processes
2. Methane - accounts for around 14% of an impact of current human greenhouse gas emmisions.
- When fossil feuls are extracted from the earth
- Waste in landfills
3. Nitrous oxide - accounts for around 8% of the warming impact of current human greenhouse-gas emmisions.
- Artificial fertilisers
- Widespread use of coal as power station fuel