The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon caused by the concentration of gases in the atmosphere, which form a layer that allows the passage of sunlight and the absorption of heat.
This process is responsible for keeping the earth at a proper temperature, ensuring the necessary heat. Without it, surely our planet would be very cold and the survival of living things would be affected.
When the sun's rays reach the earth's surface due to the greenhouse gas layer, around 50% of them are trapped in the atmosphere. The other part reaches the earth's surface, warming it and radiating heat.
Greenhouse gases can be compared to insulators because they absorb part of the energy radiated by the Earth.
What happens is that in recent decades the release of greenhouse gases due to human activities has increased considerably.
With this accumulation of gases, more heat is being trapped in the atmosphere, resulting in increased temperature. This situation gives rise to global warming.Drawing of how the greenhouse effect occurs
To get an idea, the greenhouse effect can be compared to what happens inside a parked vehicle, with the windows closed and receiving direct sunlight. Although glass allows sunlight to pass through, it prevents heat from escaping, increasing the temperature inside.
The main greenhouse gases are:
As we have seen, the greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon, but it is intensified due to the increasing burning of fossil fuels that represent the basis of industrialization and many human activities.
Forest fires to transform their areas into plantation, livestock and pasture also contribute to the increase of the greenhouse effect.
The consequence of the intensification of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere is global warming .
According to scientific research, the average temperature of the earth over the last hundred years has risen by about 0.5 ° C. If the current rate of air pollution follows in the same proportion, it is estimated that between 2025 and 2050, the temperature will increase by 2.5 to 5ºC.
Warming the earth will result in the following effects:
Another problem associated with the presence of polluting gases in the atmosphere is acid rain . It results from the exaggerated amount of fossil fuel combustion products released into the atmosphere as a result of human activities.
Learn more about the relationships and differences between the Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming .
To warn about the situation of the greenhouse effect and global warming, several countries, including Brazil, signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.
Prior to that, the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987. The main purpose is to reduce the emission of ozone depleting products.Some individual and collective action tips also contribute to reducing the greenhouse effect, they are: