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Causes of the Greenhouse Effect Greenhouse effect has been thought to be one of the main reasons behind the

increase in global warming. But, is it really the culprit, or is there some misinformation on the issue. Let us try to figure that out by knowing about the causes of the greenhouse effect. Global warming has been in the spotlight for sometime now, and one process that gets to be blamed for the increase in the global warming is the greenhouse effect. Whenever, there is a debate on global warming, the topic of greenhouse effect definitely comes up. However, one of the most important things that gets undermined is the fact that survival of life on this planet would have been impossible had there been no greenhouse effect. Before, we divulge some details on what causes the greenhouse effect, it is important that we first understand what exactly is greenhouse effect.

What is Greenhouse Effect? Sunlight is one of the major sources of energy for living organisms. Apart from helping us with various energy needs, it also helps in keeping the atmosphere warm. When sunrays strike the surface of the earth, they are partly absorbed, and partly reflected back into the atmosphere. These reflected rays, known as infrared radiations, are captured by 'greenhouse gases', which helps in keeping our atmosphere warm. These greenhouse gases are carbon-monoxide, carbon-dioxide, methane, and water-vapors. Although, these gases form only around 1% of our atmosphere, they are extremely vital in maintaining the ecological balance and sustaining life on this planet. Without the presence of these gases, the temperature of the earth would have been lesser than 30C, which means that survival of living species wouldn't be possible. The greenhouse effect can be thought of a process through which nature maintains a balance in the atmosphere. However, human activity in the past hundred years or so, has caused an increase in the percentage of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has in turn increased the average temperature on earth. Let us now take a look at some factors that cause greenhouse effect. Greenhouse Effect: Causes Deforestation One of the man-made causes of the greenhouse effect is deforestation. Deforestation increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Also, due to the disappearance of trees, photosynthesis cannot take place. Deforestation is rampant today due to the burden of our needs on land. The levels of deforestation have increased by about 9% in recent times. Also, the burning of wood causes it to

decay, therefore releasing more carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere. Burning of Fossils Greenhouse gases can also be released into the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels, oil, coal and gas. These materials are used increasingly and rampantly in industries. Most factories also produce many gases which last for a longer time in the atmosphere. These gases contribute to the greenhouse effect and also increase the global warming on the planet. These gases are not naturally available in the atmosphere. Therefore industries are also a major cause of the greenhouse effect. Electrical Appliances Other man-made causes of the increase in the greenhouse effect is the emission of greenhouse gases by electrical appliances. Even the humble refrigerator in the house emits gases which contribute to the greenhouse effect. These gases are known as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and are used in refrigerators, aerosol cans, some foaming agents in the packaging industry, fire extinguisher chemicals, and cleaners used in the electronic industry. Some processes of the cement manufacturing industries also act as a cause towards the greenhouse effect. Population Growth Population growth is an indirect contributor and one of the major causes of the greenhouse effect. With the increase in population, the needs and wants of people increase. This increases the manufacturing and the industry process. This results in the increase of the release of industrial gases which catalyze the greenhouse effect. These were some factors that cause an increase in the greenhouse effect. As mentioned before, it is not the greenhouse effect that causes global warming, it is the unrestrained human activity that has caused an increase in the greenhouse gases, which in turn have led to global warming. The need of the hour is to spare a thought on the damage that we might be causing to the environment. We may not live long enough to witness the repercussions of our actions, but our future generations might have to pay for our actions. By Roy D'Silva Last Updated: 3/20/2012 Read more at Buzzle:

The Greenhouse Effect: Greenhouse gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane etc., move in and out of the atmosphere. They trap some of the heat radiated out from the Earth that would normally move out

into space. This is called the greenhouse effect. It is natural, and is caused by the earth's carbon and water cycles and the heat from the sun. Without this warming we would be a cold dead planet. The Enhanced Greenhouse Effect: Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, 260 hundred years ago, we have been burning fossil fuels, initially coal, then oil and natural gas in much greater quantities than before. Fossil fuels contain carbon that has been hidden away for millions of years. Burning fossil fuels is adding extra Carbon Dioxide to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, much more than the normal carbon cycle can manage, and is making the atmosphere and the planet warmer. Increased demand for food and red meat has led to massivedeforestation for grazing land. Trees no longer act as a valuable soak or sink for carbon dioxide. More cattle mean more methane expelled into the atmosphere. Methane is a much more dangerous greenhouse gas than CO2. This process is called the enhanced, or accelerated greenhouse effect. When the sun's rays enter earth's atmosphere, but don't exit. Too much of this causes Global Warming.

One of the main causes of Global Warming is the Green house effect. When the emission of infra-red radiation in the atmosphere warms a planet's surface, it is known as the Green House Effect. The Greenhouse effect is a natural phenomena occurring on planet Earth One of the man-made causes of the Green House effect is deforestation. Deforestation increases the amount of carbon-di-oxide in the atmosphere. Also, due to the disappearance of trees, photosynthesis cannot take place. Deforestation causes of the greenhouse effect. Deforestation is rampant today due to the increase in human civilization. The levels of deforestation have increased by about nine percent in recent times. Also, the burning of wood causes it to decay,therefore releasing more carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere. Greenhouse Gases also can be released into the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels, oil, coal and gas. These materials are used increasingly and rampantly in Industries. Therefore Industries are also a major cause of the Greenhouse Effect. Carbon Dioxide and other pollutant gases in the atmosphere prevent trapped heat from escaping into space.

Facts About Greenhouse Gases For some astounding greenhouse gases facts, scroll down and get acquainted with the remorseful plight of our mother Earth... Our planet is in trouble. And the worst part is, we know that very well. Sunlight enters our atmosphere freely, ozone layer is depleting, global warming is increasing, and temperature is rising. All because of the greenhouse gases, which are nothing but responsible for allowing the sunlight to enter the Earth's atmosphere without any blockage. While infra-red radiations are supposed to be reflected back towards the space, the greenhouse gases absorb this radiation, thus, trapping the heat in the atmosphere. These gases have covered the surface of the earth, which has resulted in the Earth being 33 degree Celsius warmer than it would actually be, had these gases not been present. Hard-hitting fact, I know! For some startling facts, take a look at the content that is to follow below. Even if they fail to contribute to the effective measures of combating this critical environmental issue, these scientific facts on greenhouse effect as well as gases can create the necessary awareness among world masses. Interesting Facts on Greenhouse Gases About 50 percent of the incoming solar radiation is absorbed by the surface of the earth. While the heat that is radiated back to space is sensible heat in the form of latent heat as well as infra-red radiation. The Earth's atmosphere absorbs these radiations, and emits them in all directions. On the other hand, the radiation that was lost to space, comes from atmospheric regions with a temperature much, much colder than the surface of the earth. This is called the greenhouse effect and global warming which is a universally witnessed result of it. Greenhouse gases comprise Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (NO2), and a few other gases in small quantities. However, these gases have significantly increased as a result of revolution and pollution. Burning of fossil fuels, agriculture, industrial plants, etc. have done nothing but augmented the production of these gases, thereby, depleting the ozone layer. One of the most astonishing greenhouse gas facts is that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere today is way higher than it was in the last 650,000 years, and the last 10 years have witnessed the increase more than any decade. Scientists in the early twentieth century discovered that Nitrogen and Oxygen could not absorb any kind of infra-red radiation. Instead, it was gases like Carbon Dioxide and water vapor in the form of clouds, that could absorb the radiations. However, later, it was unleashed that had these gases not been present in the atmosphere, the temperature of planet Earth would be much lower than it is now. The impacts of greenhouse gases on planet Earth are not just limited to risen temperatures and climate change. The gas emissions are capable of affecting our health, leading to famines and drought, prove fatal to our agricultural systems, and

air conditioning. What's more, in case of air travel, each mile generates more than half a pound of CO2 per person, which means that, in a usual one-way flight, each person is responsible for producing no less than 600 pounds of CO2 emissions. It would be interesting to know that while greenhouse gases are usually transparent to the incoming solar radiation, they are totally opaque to the radiation of the Earth. Oxygen and ozone are meant to absorb the incoming UV. That said, one of the most astonishing facts is that, due to substantial change in the temperature all over the world, we can feel the risen degrees with each day passing by. Due to this, melting glaciers have created a nuisance by bringing about floods, and water levels have risen globally. Global warming has put islands into trouble, animals into extinction, and vegetation to reduce. Hopeful as I am, these facts must have startled you with the current situation of our planet Earth. It's high time we understand the impacts of climate change, and do our necessary bit of contribution to save our planet. All I know is that, the right time to start caring about our mother Earth is... now! By Veethi Telang Last Updated: 9/26/2011 Read more at Buzzle:
What Causes the Greenhouse Effect? Life on earth depends on energy from the sun. About 30 percent of the sunlight that beams toward Earth is deflected by the outer atmosphere and scattered back into space. The rest reaches the planet's surface and is reflected upward again as a type of slow-moving energy called infrared radiation. The heat caused by infrared radiation is absorbed by "greenhouse gases" such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone and methane, which slows its escape from the atmosphere. Although greenhouse gases make up only about 1 percent of the Earth's atmosphere, they regulate our climate by trapping heat and holding it in a kind of warm-air blanket that surrounds the planet. This phenomenon is what scientists call the "greenhouse effect." Without it, scientists estimate that the average temperature on Earth would be colder by approximately 30 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit), far too cold to sustain our current ecosystem. How Do Humans Contribute to the Greenhouse Effect? While the greenhouse effect is an essential environmental prerequisite for life on Earth, there really can be too much of a good thing.

The problems begin when human activities distort and accelerate the natural process by creating more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than are necessary to warm the planet to an ideal temperature. Burning natural gas, coal and oil -including gasoline for automobile engines-raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Some farming practices and land-use changes increase the levels of methane and nitrous oxide. Many factories produce long-lasting industrial gases that do not occur naturally, yet contribute significantly to the enhanced greenhouse effect and "global warming" that is currently under way. Deforestation also contributes to global warming. Trees use carbon dioxide and give off oxygen in its place, which helps to create the optimal balance of gases in the atmosphere. As more forests are logged for timber or cut down to make way for farming, however, there are fewer trees to perform this critical function. Population growth is another factor in global warming, because as more people use fossil fuels for heat, transportation and manufacturing the level of greenhouse gases continues to increase. As more farming occurs to feed millions of new people, more greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere. Ultimately, more greenhouse gases means more infrared radiation trapped and held, which gradually increases the temperature of the Earth's surface and the air in the lower atmosphere. The Average Global Temperature is Increasing Quickly Today, the increase in the Earth's temperature is increasing with unprecedented speed. To understand just how quickly global warming is accelerating, consider this: During the entire 20th century, the average global temperature increased by about 0.6 degrees Celsius (slightly more than 1 degree Fahrenheit). Using computer climate models, scientists estimate that by the year 2100 the average global temperature will increase by 1.4 degrees to 5.8 degrees Celsius (approximately 2.5 degrees to 10.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Not All Scientists Agree While the majority of mainstream scientists agree that global warming is a serious problem that is growing steadily worse, there are some who disagree. John Christy, a professor and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville is a respected climatologist who argues that global warming isn't worth worrying about. Christy reached that opinion after analyzing millions of measurements from weather satellites in an effort to find a global temperature trend. He found no sign of global warming in the satellite data, and now believes that predictions of global warming by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century are incorrect.
What Causes Greenhouse Gases There can be a number of reasons for what causes greenhouse gases leading to global warming, some pertaining to human activity. With the help of this article let us discuss the causes and effects of global warming on our planet... Dramatic and unpredictable climate change is a matter of concern these days. The extreme temperatures in the climate have affected not only human life, but also the flora and fauna. Human activities like deforestation, pollution etc tends to contribute to the rise in atmospheric temperature, which according to some claims is resulting in global warming. This change is a result of the greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, that accumulate in the upper strata of the atmosphere and prevent heat from exiting to outer space. The trapped heat is radiated back to the Earth, which leads to a rise in temperature. Greenhouse Gases There are natural gases like water vapor, ozone, methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide that are present in the atmosphere. These naturally existing gases absorb the heat and Maintain the optimum atmospheric temperature. The upper strata of the atmosphere is covered by a layer of ozone, which protects the Earth from harmful UV rays of the sun. The sum emits different kinds of rays that enter the atmosphere through the ozone layer. Certain rays are reflected back by this protective layer. The gases circulate the heat evenly in the environment. However, these days due to several human activities, a new set of greenhouse gases have been added to the atmosphere. These are hydrofluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, chlorofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons. A Brief Overview on Global Warming The man-made gases have a drastic effect on the ozone layer, since they deplete it and cause holes. These holes make it easy for the sun's harmful UV rays to pass through and affect the life on Earth. There is also a considerable rise in temperature, making it difficult to survive. Scientists are trying to figure out ways for bringing down this rapid increase in temperature. There are many drastic downsides of global warming in the form of melting of icebergs, increased depletion of the ozone layer and unsteady weather changes. The annual emissions of gases has risen up and is a cause of grave concern among scientists, since it leads to a slow but sure path towards the destruction of the planet. With the increase in gases in the atmosphere, several consequences can be noticed. For example, temperature rise melts icebergs in the oceans, increasing the volume of water bodies. This can lead to more coastal floods, frequent and severe storms. Alterations in the weather patterns can influence seasons and increase their length. Different species of flora and fauna may also come to the verge of extinction due to lack of inability to adapt to the aftermath of climatic changes. To avoid these, an awareness regarding global warming and its effects should be spread. Causes and Effects As mentioned earlier, a number of human activities is one of the main causes of the

greenhouse effect. These activities are responsible for this phenomenon of global warming. Listed below are some of the reasons for what causes greenhouse gases and their effect on the environment. Deforestation Incessant cutting of trees is termed as deforestation. But why are trees been cut down so unceasingly? Owing to the rapid increase in population, there is a dearth of place for habitation. So in order to grow food as well as make place for the ever growing population, forests are being razed to the ground. This leads to a spike in temperature, which in turn results in increasing the gases and ends up in global warming. Environmental Pollution The burning of fossil fuels like petrol, diesel i.e. emissions from automobiles increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment. Other gases like carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide are also emitted from the exhaust pipes of vehicles. These fumes contribute towards air pollution, which causes a dramatic addition of gases in the atmosphere. Industrial Emission Manufacturing of goods also leads to an increase in the level of greenhouse gases. Burning of coal and natural gas to run the factories have led to the dangerous rise of carbon dioxide and methane. This has a radical impact on the greenhouse effect and contributes to global warming. Since the chimneys are tall, the fumes get mixed to the air directly and are responsible for trapping more heat and increasing it. Other Activities Emissions from refrigerators, air conditioners and other insulation units are adding to the already existing gases. Use of aerosols is also another causative factor which results to a rise in the amount of these potent gases. Natural calamities like earthquake, volcanoes, forest fires and release of methane in bogs also adds up to the greenhouse gases. It is high time we stop all destructive activities which are leading to the depletion of the ozone layer, which results in greenhouse effect and global warming, and contribute to make our planet more green. It is the prime duty of every citizen of this planet to protect it for future generations. By Marlene Alphonse Last Updated: 12/9/2011 Read more at Buzzle:

Earth's atmosphere
Earth's atmosphere is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth and retained by the Earth's gravity.
See also:

Earth & Climate

Atmosphere Earth Science Geology Air Quality Air Pollution Environmental Issues

It contains roughly 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen 0.97% argon and carbon dioxide 0.04% trace amounts of other gases, and water vapor. This mixture of gases is commonly known as air. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation and reducing temperature extremes between day and night. The atmosphere has no abrupt cut-off. It slowly becomes thinner and fades away into space. There is no definite boundary between the atmosphere and outer space. Three-quarters of the atmosphere's mass is within 11 km of the planetary surface.. For more information about the topic Earth's atmosphere, read the full article at, or see the following related articles: Planetary boundary layer The planetary boundary layer (PBL) is also known as the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). It is the lowest part of the atmosphere and its behavior is ... > read more Altitude Altitude is the elevation of an object from a known level or datum. Common datums are mean sea level and the surface of the WGS-84 geoid, used by ... > read more

Solar radiation Solar radiation is radiant energy emitted by the sun, particularly electromagnetic energy. About half of the radiation is in the visible short-wave ... > read more

Inversion (meteorology) A temperature inversion is a meteorological phenomenon in which air temperature increases with height for some distance above the ground, as opposed ... > read more

Atmospheric chemistry Atmospheric chemistry is a branch of atmospheric science in which the chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere and that of other planets is studied. It is ... > read more

Hadley cell The major driving force of atmospheric circulation in the tropical regions is solar heating. Because of the Earth's 23.5 axial tilt, the sun is ... > read more Climate model Climate models use quantitative methods to simulate the interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, and ice. They are used for a variety of ... > read more

Jet stream Jet streams are fast flowing, relatively narrow air currents found in the atmosphere at around 12 km above the surface of the Earth, just under the ... > read more

Ozone layer The ozone layer is the part of the Earth's atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone (O3). "Relatively high" means a few ... > read more

Carbon cycle The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged between the biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere of the Earth. ...'s_atmosphere.htm

Global warming impact on greenhouse gases

AgDM Newsletter March 2008

(second in series) Global warming will have a profound impact on global agriculture, with yet unknown influences on Midwest agriculture. As with most changes, this will provide both opportunities and threats for Midwest agricultural producers. This article discusses the role greenhouse gases play in global warming. Solar energy heats the earths surface. But the energy does not stay bound up in the earths environment forever. Instead, as the earth warms, it emits thermal radiation. This thermal radiation, which is largely in the form of long-wave infrared rays, eventually finds its way out into space, leaving the earth and allowing it to cool. However, not all of the infrared rays pass into space. Some of the infrared rays are absorbed by greenhouse gases and warm the atmosphere. So the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is directly related to the temperature of the atmosphere. Increased concentrations of greenhouse gases increase the temperature of the atmosphere leading to the warming of the earths surface.

The natural carbon cycle

Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases go through a natural cycle. The carbon cycle is shown in Figure 1. Large amounts of carbon pass back and forth between the atmosphere and the earths surface. For example, growing crops and trees take in carbon dioxide (CO2) during photosynthesis. The carbon is the feedstock for making the plant and the oxygen (O2) is released into the atmosphere. When the plant dies and deteriorates or is processed, the carbon is combined with oxygen by microbial processes to become CO2 and is returned to the atmosphere. So these processes tend to keep the amount of carbon dioxide relatively constant over time.

However, burning fossil fuels takes carbon that has been stored deep in the earth and emits the carbon into the atmosphere in amounts that are too large for the earths plants to absorb. This is new carbon dioxide that is being pumped into the atmosphere. Changing land-use has the effect of slightly increasing carbon dioxide atmospheric concentrations. Human activities such as burning fossil fuels, releasing chlorofluorocarbons, and deforestation have raised levels of greenhouse gases far above natural levels. Nature requires hundreds of years to remove these excessive amounts of greenhouse gases.

Types of greenhouse gases

Water vapor is the most prevalent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Water vapor doesnt stay in the atmosphere very long. Although concentrations can change rapidly on a local basis, globally concentrations remain quite constant. The greenhouse gases that impact the gradual warming of the earths surface are those that stay in the atmosphere for a long period of time and build-up over time. In spite of their relatively low atmospheric concentrations, their long lifetime makes their influence on global warming large. The warming impact of different types of greenhouse gases varies according to the warming power of the gas and the length of time it stays in the atmosphere. As shown in Table 1, carbon dioxide has an

atmospheric life of 50 to 200 years. So once emitted into the atmosphere, it has a warming effect over a long period of time. Methane, for example, has a life of about 12 years, much shorter than carbon dioxide. The warming power of each gas varies greatly. For example, methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Over a 100 year period, a molecule of methane (CH4) has 21 times the warming effect as a molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2), even though it stays in the atmosphere for only about 12 years of the 100 year period. To compare the impact of each gas, the warming potential of each gas is computed over a 100 year period as shown in Table 1. The Greenhouse Warming Potential (GWP) is computed for each gas based on its warming power and atmospheric lifetime. As a basis of comparison, carbon dioxide is assigned a GWP of one and the GWP of the other gases are computed in relationship to carbon dioxide. For example, relative to carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide has about 300 times the warming effect. The other gases (halocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride) are also powerful gases. The level of greenhouse gases emissions in carbon dioxide equivalents is shown in Figure 2. Although the warming potential of the other gases is more powerful than carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide emissions dwarf those of the other gases due to its large volume of emissions.

Atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases

The current rate of increase of greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere is unprecedented. Focusing specifically on the major greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, it has traditionally fluctuated from about 180 parts per million (ppm) to about 300 ppm. As shown in Figure 3, carbon dioxide emissions have increased from less than 320 ppm in 1960 to 380 presently. The atmosphere now contains more carbon dioxide than at any time in the last 420,000 years and possibly the last 20 million years.

We can calculate with confidence that, even with severe limits on emissions, carbon dioxide concentrations will be at least 450 ppm by 2050. If we allow for rapid economic growth based on continued use of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide concentrations will reach 600 ppm by 2050 and about 950 ppm by the end of the century (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes, 2007 Report).

Impact on global temperatures

Average global temperature will rise 0.7 to 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit by 2030 and a 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Recent scientific reports conclude there is a 40% chance that warming will exceed this range and only a 5% chance that it will be less. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that global average temperatures will remain constant or decline in the next 100 years. Although the earth has warmed and will continue to warm, the temperature increase has not and will not be distributed evenly. The temperature increases (decreases) that have occurred over the latter half of the 20th century are shown in Figure 4. The warming tends to be concentrated in certain parts of the world, especially the northern areas. There were areas that actually cooled slightly.

Projected temperatures increases over the next 100 years are shown in Figure 5. Once again the temperature increase is not expected to be distributed evenly. The warming tends to be concentrated in the far north. Also, because land is more responsive to atmospheric temperature changes than the oceans, the temperature increase will be greater over the continents than the oceans. This article has focused on the role of greenhouse gases in global warming. The next article will focus on agricultures role in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Greenhouse Effect - Causes of the Greenhouse effect

What is the Green house effect ? The Earth is kept warm by it's atmosphere, which acts rather like a woolly coat - without it, the average surface temperature would be about -18 degrees Centigrade. Heat from the sun passes through the atmosphere, warming it up, and most of it warms the surface of the planet. As the Earth warms up, it emits heat in the form of infra-red radiation - much like a hot pan emits heat even after it's taken away from the cooker. Some of this heat is trapped by the atmosphere, but the rest escapes into space. The so-called "greenhouse gases" make the atmosphere trap more of this radiation, so it gradually warms up more than it should, like a greenhouse (although a greenhouse actually does this by stopping warm air rising and escaping from it). Problems of The Greenhouse Effect The greenhouse effect causes trouble by raising the temperature of the planet. The actual rise is not very much, but the Earth's ecosystem is very fragile, and small changes can have large effects. A Panel on Climate Change has predicted that this rise of one degree will happen by the year 2025. What Causes The Greenhouse Effect? Causes of the greenhouse effect This could potentially cripple the North American corn belt, which produces much of the world's grain, leading to much higher food prices, and even less food for the Third World than they already have. However, it would also mean that some countries which are further north would be able to grow crops they had never been able to before, although there is less land as you move north from the corn belt. The other serious worry is that rising sea levels from the melting of the polar ice caps could severely flood many countries. A rise in sea levels of one metre, which many experts are predicting by the year 2100

(and some as soon as 2030), would flood 15 percent of Egypt, and 12 percent of Bangladesh. The Maldives in the Indian Ocean would almost completely disappear.

Most of the countries which would suffer most from a rise in sea levels are the poor island states, so the islands in the Caribbean, South Pacific, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean have formed the Alliance of Small Island States, AOSIS, so they have a louder voice in international politics and can make the richer developed world listen to their problems. Britain would lose most of East Anglia, and to protect the coast line would cost an estimated 5 to 10 billion pounds. The Greenhouse Effect - Possible Solutions Reducing use of fossil fuels would considerably reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced, as well as reducing the levels of the pollutants which cause acid rain. This can be achieved by either using less energy altogether, or using alternative energy sources. You can help save energy in lots of ways: Turn off lights when you leave a room If you have a car, don't use it for short journeys Basically, anything at all that uses less energy

Eliminating the use of CFCs is something we can actually do. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were invented in the 1920s, they are a compound of carbon containing chlorine and fluorine. CFCs are man made chemicals, so we call them synthetic chemicals. Since their introduction CFCs have been used as: Refrigerants in refrigerators and air conditioning units Propellants in aerosol cans Foaming agents in the production of packaging Cleaners used in the electronics industry Fire extinguisher chemicals

New refrigerants have been developed, and new aerosols use other propellants such as butane, so it is now actually quite difficult to get hold of CFCs (assuming you wanted to get some for something anyway). Stopping deforestation by using renewable forests and planting a new tree whenever one is felled would help to raise the carbon dioxide absorbing ability of the planet.

Reducing Greenhouse Gases

The Government of Canada is taking a constructive approach to achieve real environmental and economic benefits for Canadians. We are committed to reducing Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 a target that is inscribed in the Copenhagen Accord and aligned with the United States. It is estimated that Canada is halfway to our GHG emissions reduction target. We have achieved this by regulating greenhouse gas emissions through a sector-bysector approach, aligned with the U.S., where appropriate.

Regulating Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emissions o Transportation o Electricity o Renewable Fuels o Other Sectors Investing in Solutions o Carbon Capture and Storage o Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

Regulating Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Transportation The transportation sector makes up approximately 25 percent of Canada's emissions, and Canada has worked collaboratively with the U.S. towards common North American standards for greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Passenger Vehicles and Light Trucks In November 2012, proposed regulations limiting emissions from passenger vehicles and light trucks model years 2017 and beyond were released, building on the final regulationsfor model years 2011-2016. As a result of the regulations, it is projected that the average greenhouse gas emissions from 2025 vehicles will be reduced by about 50% from those sold in 2008. Heavy-duty Vehicles With regards to heavy-duty vehicles, in February 2013 the Government of Canada released final regulations limiting emissions for the 2014 and later model years. Through the implementation of the standards, it is anticipated that the average greenhouse gas emissions from 2018 heavy-duty vehicles will be reduced by up to 23 percent.

Electricity Though Canada's electricity system is already one of the cleanest in the world, we have taken steps towards developing an even cleaner electricity grid. In September 2012, final regulations to reduce emissions from the coal-fired electricity sector were released. These regulations apply a stringent performance standard to new coal-fired electricity generation units and to coal-fired units that have reached the end of their economic life. Renewable Fuels We are also following through on our commitment to regulate renewable content in the fuel supply. As of December 15, 2010, gasoline is required to contain an average five per cent renewable content. These regulations are one pillar of the Government's broader Renewable Fuels Strategy. As a further step, we have implemented a 2 per cent renewable fuel requirement for diesel fuel. Other Sectors As part of the Government of Canada's climate change plan, regulated GHG performance standards will be developed for the remaining major sources of emissions, with a focus on the oil and gas sector and other industrial emitters.

Investing in Solutions
Carbon Capture and Storage Canada is well-placed to be a global leader in the development and deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies. In recent years, Canada's federal and provincial governments have committed a total of approximately $3 billion in funding for CCS, which could lead to as many as five to six large-scale demonstration projects in Canada. In addition to taking significant action at home, Canada is actively involved in international efforts to advance the development and deployment of CCS technology. Agricultural Greenhouse Gases As well, Canada is one of the founding members of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, an international network of more than 30 membercountries devoted to collaboration in agricultural research on greenhouse gas mitigation and beneficial management practices for farmers in Canada and around the world. At its launch, Canada announced that it would invest $27 million towards the Global Research Alliance. The Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP) represents Canada's initial contribution to the Global Research Alliance. AGGP will help Canadian farmers

become more competitive and profitable through improved access to, and adoption of, beneficial management practices that help mitigate greenhouse gases. An initial $19.6 million has been approved for 18 projects and will bring farmers, the agricultural community and academia together to work towards a common goal of advancing research, technology transfer and adoption of beneficial management practices to mitigate agricultural greenhouse gases.


The greenhouse effect naturally keeps the earth warm enough to be habitable; without it, the earths surface would be about 60 degrees Fahrenheit colder on average. Scientists refer to what has been happening in the earths atmosphere over the past centur y as the enhanced greenhouse effect. By pumping man-made greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humans are altering and enhancing the process by which the atmosphere traps the suns heat before it can be released back into space.