The Greenhouse effect is a natural process that causes the warming up of the earth’s surface to sustain life. A greenhouse is generally a vast building that houses different kinds of plants and has large windows of glass facing the direction of the sun. When the sun’s rays strike these windows, it passes through them because glass is transparent to the sun’s heat, or in other words, it allows sunlight to pass through it. These rays that thus touch the windows will either be absorbed by it or reflected back into space. This heat that is absorbed through the glass can emerge in the form of heat waves that are not able to escape back out through the windows. They instead are trapped inside and used to keep the greenhouse warm even if the temperature outside is colder, which is essential for the plants to grow. Something similar happens with our Earth as well. When the sun’s ray’s fall on the atmosphere, some of it is reflected back to space while the rest is absorbed by certain gases present in the atmosphere, known as greenhouse gases which include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone etc. These gases play the role of the window and help to absorb and trap the heat waves and release it in all directions of the earth’s surface. This process of energy absorption keeps the earth’s temperature at around 33 degree Celsius warmer than it would be otherwise, which is necessary for life to survive on the planet.
There are some factors that affect the greenhouse effect and the amount of heat absorbed.
-For instance, the type of surface touched upon by the sunlight plays a role in how much sunlight is absorbed by the atmosphere. This is known as ‘albedo’ and generally, snow-covered areas reflect more heat than hot deserts. Lighter surfaces absorb more heat than darker ones.
– Another factor that determines the warming of the earth’s surface is how much energy is received from the sun.
-Further, the composition of greenhouse gasses also influences the amount of heat absorbed. Generally, the presence of more greenhouse gases will increase the temperature.
Today this increased composition of greenhouse gases is slowly becoming a problem by increasing the Earth’s temperature far beyond what is necessary. This overheating of the planet is known as global warming and is hugely responsible for climate change and the problems that come with it. Human activities are greatly responsible for global warming because it is our careless polluting of the environment, burning of fossils etc. that has increased the number of greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere which further leads to a higher absorption of heat. Experts all over the world are at present trying to control the situation at hand by reducing pollution and degradation of our environment and the emission of these greenhouse gases as much as possible. Progress has however been slow, and hopefully, we will yield more positive results in the future for otherwise, global warming is a phenomenon that can rid the planet of all live surviving on it, which of course, includes the entirety of the human race.