The Greenhouse Effect

The Greenhouse Effect

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Thanks to the greenhouse effect, the temperature of the earth remains on average around 15ºC, which is favorable to life on the planet. Without this warming our planet would be very cold.

The name greenhouse comes from glass greenhouses, where certain plants are grown, and sunlight passes through the glass warming the interior of the environment. Only part of the heat can pass through the glass from the greenhouse. Similar to greenhouse glass, the atmosphere lets in rays of sunlight that warm the earth. Some of this heat returns and escapes into space through the atmosphere, while some is absorbed by atmospheric gases (such as carbon dioxide) and returns to Earth, keeping it warm.

However, since the emergence of the first industries in the eighteenth century, the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere has increased.

The atmosphere is saturated with this type of gas, which causes the greenhouse effect to worsen. Scientists and environmentalists have warned of this phenomenon that seems to be the main cause of the global warming.

Observe below a scheme of the greenhouse effect.

  • Carbon dioxide and other gases allow sunlight to pass through, but retain the heat it generates.
  • The burning of fossil fuels and other processes cause accumulation of carbon dioxide in the air, increasing the greenhouse effect.
  • Through photosynthesis of plants and algae, part of the carbon dioxide is removed from the air.