To begin, greenhouse effect is defined as a “naturally occurring process that aids in heating the Earth’s surface and atmosphere (Pidwirny, 2006).” According to Pidwirny (2006), the gases that make up the atmosphere absorb longer wavelength radiation to help maintain stable temperatures on Earth. Without these gases, Pidwirny (2009) estimates that the world would probably sit at around -18 degrees Celsius, as opposed to its current temperatures. This would definitely be problematic to life on Earth. Therefore, the correct balance must be maintained within the atmosphere. Presently, about 30 percent of all radiation is reflected back into space, while 70 percent is absorbed (Lallanila, 2016). Some of this radiation is absorbed by water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and the other greenhouse gases (Lallanila, 2016). The concentration of these gases is what determines how much heat is collected in the atmosphere because they trap heat close to Earth’s surface (Pidwirny, 2009). According to Pidwirny (2009), the gases accomplish this by absorbing the heat that is radiating off of Earth, a result of solar heating of Earth’s surface.
Lallanila (2016) says that industrialization, more specifically the burning of fossil fuels, has caused drastic changes in the amount o...
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...being affected by our actions. Global warming can and will cause not only an increase in atmospheric temperature, but also could create many other physical and societal problems along the way. Without a proper balance of energy transfer in and out, life as we know it would be unsustainable. In fact, if the atmosphere becomes too concentrated with greenhouse gases, it could end up becoming like Venus. Venus maintains an average temperature of 462 degrees Celsius because of the composition of its atmosphere (Lallanila, 2016). Obviously, this would not be suitable for human life. Therefore, it is our responsibility to step in and intervene before it is too late. We must be more conscientious of how we treat our planet by educating ourselves and acting accordingly. If we do not, it could have dire consequences. Eventually, it could even mean the end of the human race.
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