Thursday 10 May 2012


Greenhouse gases regulate our climate by trapping heat from the sun and holding it in a kind of 
warm air blanket that surrounds the earth.  Without it out planet would be colder by 54F, way too 
cold to sustain our ecosystem.

Greenhouse gases trap some of the infrared radiation that escapes from the Earth, 
making the Earth warmer that it would otherwise be. Greenhouse gases act as a "blanket" for 
infrared radiation; it keeps the lower layers of the atmosphere warmer and the 
upper layers colder than if the greenhouse gases were not there. 

The "natural" greenhouse effect keeps the Earth's climate warm and habitable. About 80-90% of 
the Earth's natural greenhouse effect is due to water vapor, a strong greenhouse gas. The 
remainder is due to carbon dioxide, methane, and a few other minor gases. 

There is also the "man-made" greenhouse effect, which is the enhancement of Earth's natural greenhouse effect by the addition of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels (mainly 
petroleum, coal, and natural gas). 

An increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases leads to an increase in the magnitude of 
the greenhouse effect. This is referred to as the enhanced greenhouse effect.  The problem with 
the greenhouse effect is when human activities distort and accelerate the natural process by 
creating more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  

It is the carbon dioxide concentration that is increasing, due to the burning of fossil fuels 
(as well as from some rainforest burning). This is the man-made  portion of the greenhouse
effect, and it is believed by many scientists to be responsible for the global warming of the last 
150 years. 

Also, the concentration of methane, although small, has also increased in recent decades. The
reasons for this increase, though, are uncertain.

Based on the following article,  
Photos care of, and

For related articles click onto:
Acid rain and its effect on wildlife
Caring for the coral reefs
Causes of acid rain
Coral reefs and the greenhouse effect
Conserving fossil fuels
Energy saving light bulbs
Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels: Alternative sources of energy
What is acid rain?
What is the difference between an asteroid and a comet?
What is global warming?
What is global warming?
What is the greenhouse effect
What is the difference between a fog and a mist??
What is the Gulf Stream?
What is the difference between energy efficient light bulbs and traditional light bulbs?

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