Greenhouse Effect

April 27, 2010 at 3:52 am 3 comments

Although there are many factors that influence the climate, one of the most significant is the greenhouse effect.  The greenhouse effect refers to the warming that occurs as a result of greenhouse gasses (GHG) trapping energy in the atmosphere.  An underlying principal of the greenhouse effect is that all objects radiate heart to some degree.  Now with that in mind, check  this out, so the sun is our primary heat source and it radiates energy  (i.e. heat) which passes through the Earth’s atmosphere and warms the earth’s surface.  As the surface of the earth warms up it also emits energy in the form of radiation ie heat. If greenhouse gases did not exist in our atmosphere, all of that energy would be emitted back into space and temperatures on Earth would plummet well below freezing.  However, our planet maintains reasonably balanced temperatures thanks to the presence of greenhouse gases. These gases trap some of the energy that radiates from the earth’s surface so that it can warm our atmosphere. So you see we need a greenhouse effect; without it earth would be uninhabitable….  However, any fluctuation in the concentrations of these gases would either warm or cool the planet .  So, what we are experiencing now is that the concentration of greenhouses gases has increased and so more heat is being trapped and ultimately temperatures are increasing.  Greenhouse gases, including CO2, H2O, nitrous oxide, methane and ozone, are generated by a number of natural and man-made processes. Energy production and deforestation are some of the most notable anthropogenic sources of greenhouses gases. In nature they are generated through the carbon cycles in which humans, animals and a number of microorganisms produce these gases.  From this very basic knowledge  we can simply conclude that greenhouse gases are emitted by a large number of entities and our mission is to work on reducing these emissions as much as possible beacuse althought they occur naturally a greater percentage of greenhouse gases  is generated  by human factors. Here is where you can play a crucial role!   For instances, energy production results in production of GHGs, one simple measure you can take is to reduce your energy consumption so instead of facebooking, talking on the phone, watching TV  and blow-drying your hair all at the sametime(I do not know how this possible) take easy and cut down on electricity usage while giving your brain a little break from all that at the same time.  JUST a thought!

Learn more on how you can reduce your emissions… check out some of the posts under climate change mitigation, which is a fancy word for reducing climate change


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Earth Day by Eugene Cordero (Associate Professor, Department of Meteorology and Climate Science. San Jose State University) Global Climate Change Project

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nancy  |  April 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    So there was a natural system, and then we simple exacerbated the system?

  • 2. Maryam  |  May 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Hey everybody!

    So first of all, i love the blog (Can i follow it by any chance?)
    And second, hasn’t there always been climate changes and global warmings? We had an ice age, an age where lots of land was under water, and now, an age where some places get colder and others heat up. So why is it a problem, isn’t this part of nature?

  • 3. Christine  |  May 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Of course you can follow our blog.

    To answer your question, there has been climate change and global warming for a long time, but there is a difference between natural and human causes of climate change. Recently, the science has shown that there has been a dramatic increase in the anthropogenic (human related) causes of climate change. So, the issue is not that climate change is happening; it is actually that we have caused it to speed it up.
    Thanks for your question. We’ll post more information about natural and anthropogenic forces soon.


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