Example Of Effect Of Greenhouse Gasses On The Environment Argumentative Essay
The Earth's atmosphere consists essentially of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%). 1% mostly belongs to argon and other substances. These gases are transparent to sunlight passing through them and heat the Earth's surface. Warm earth and oceans in their turn heat the lower part of the atmosphere. Part of this heat re-enters the space. If this is all over, the average temperature on Earth would not exceed -18 ° C instead of the current 15 ° C.
The temperature at the surface of the Earth is the result of an equilibrium established between radiation coming from the sun and the energy that is radiated into space from the surface of the Earth. Earth radiated energy largely depends on the composition of the earth's atmosphere. If there were no atmosphere at all, such as on the Moon, the average temperature at the Earth's surface would be about -18 ° C.
However, the atmosphere exists. Nature’s level of CO2 in the atmosphere is 270 ppm. It absorbs the radiation emitted by the Earth's surface, keeping this energy and preventing the Earth to cool. Because of the atmosphere the average temperature on earth is 15 ° C, which is 33 degrees more than the Moon. Carbon dioxide absorbs radiation in the wavelength range of 13-19 microns. There is a large number of water vapor that is present in the atmosphere, this water vapor absorbs in the range of 4-7 microns. Most of the radiation emitted from the earth is in the range 7-13 microns.(Edmonds and Saunders, 1997)
Gases produce additional heat in the atmosphere, but this heat does not transmit into space but slowly returns back to the Earth. Precisely these gases form a greenhouse effect, and they are called greenhouse gases.(Jakab, 2011)
Since 99.9% of the atmosphere consists of nitrogen, oxygen and argon, there is very little space that remains for other gasses. But even a small amount of greenhouse gas emissions have a significant impact on the Earth environment and the whole climate.(Jakab, 2011)
Greenhouse gases are the reason why the larger part of heat emitted from the surface of the Earth remains in the close to the Earth layers of the air. And, what is more, when the concentration of greenhouse gases increases, the general overheating of the planet's surface increases as well. It took many millions of years for the greenhouse-effect-causing gases to reach the value that allows to maintain thermal equilibrium.(Ollhoff, 2011)
Greenhouse gases consist of: CO2, methane, water vapor, carbon fluoride which is used as refrigerants, styrofoam, various aerosol propellants, nitrogen oxides and ozone.(Wittwer, 1995)
Before the period when mankind started to actively launch industrial development, the main sources of greenhouse gases were: evaporation from the surface of the oceans, volcanic activity and forest fires.
Since the beginning of the industrial era greenhouse gases began to fall into the atmosphere from the combustion of fossil fuels (carbon dioxide), due to rice cultivation and extraction of oil (methane), due to the leakages of refrigerants and aerosol use (fluorocarbons), due to missile launches (nitrogen oxides), and due to car engines (ozone). In addition, human industrial activity has led to a big reduction in forest areas which are the main natural sinks for carbon dioxide.(Peters, n.d.)
One of the most serious effects of greenhouse gasses on the environment is global warming. The planet is warming. Scientists are almost unanimous that the cause of warming lays in human industrial activity. The result of this activity appears to be increased allocation of so-called greenhouse gases. The problem is that some of them may stay in the atmosphere, up to a thousand years.
Human activities have led to a significant increase in the content of anthropogenic greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and freon in the atmosphere. These gases absorb radiation in the range of 7-13 microns, preventing the natural exchange of energy and the resulting temperature increase in the ground. If nothing changes, the "effective" level of CO2 in the atmosphere will double by 2030, which could cause a temperature increase of 1-4 degrees. This will lead to a change in wind direction and the movement of air masses, which can cause drying of whole continents or an increase in global sea level. A further increase in the concentration of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will lead to even more disastrous consequences.(Peters, n.d.)
The main contribution to warming brings carbon dioxide (65% from all sources). Volumes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increase from the combustion of oil, coal and other fuels. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and a tempo of its increase in volumes are so huge that it is technically impossible to reverse this process in the coming decades. Moreover, the situation is aggravated due to the fact that developing countries continue increasing energy consumption annually. A rapid increase of CO, as well as other greenhouse gases, in the atmosphere of our planet has an enormous impact on the Earth's climate which can be easily noticed. The tendency of increasing the surface temperature remains, which resulted that the average air temperature increased during the XX century by 0,6 ° C.(Wittwer, 1995)
It is impossible to stop warming entirely, even more so that it coincided with the natural cycle of warming that is also happening now. But ultimately to minimize the process is something that is very real, and the world community does a lot for this. Most industrial countries have signed an agreement on reducing emissions. But it is very much to do in the field of reorganization energy, industry and transport.
Another harmful effect of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the destruction of the ozone layer that appears to be a kind of shield from the "hard" sunlight. The fact is that in addition to visible light, sun radiates ultraviolet waves. Ultraviolet light is similar to sunlight, but its wavelength is somewhat shorter than the violet waves of very short perceptible to the human eye. Even though ultraviolet rays are invisible, they have more energy than visible. Penetrating through the atmosphere and is absorbed by the tissues of living organisms, they destroy the proteins and molecules DNA. This is what happens when you are sunbathing. If all the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the upper atmosphere reaches the Earth's surface, it is unlikely that life on our planet would be preserved. All plants and animals would simply die.
Edmonds, A. and Saunders, M. (1997). The greenhouse effect. Brookfield, Conn.: Copper Beech Books.
Jakab, C. (2011). Greenhouse gases. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.
Ollhoff, J. (2011). Climate change. Edina, Minn.: ABDO Pub. Company.
Peters, E. (n.d.). The whole story of climate.
Wittwer, S. (1995). Food, climate, and carbon dioxide. Boca Raton: Lewis Publishers.