What is the Greenhouse Effect?The Greenhouse Effect is a process where heat from sun, travelling to earth in the form of light and radiation, attempts to reflect off the earth but is trapped by greenhouse gases. The most dominant greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide(CO2), and ozone(O3). The received radiation from the sun is in a shorter wavelength, and passes through the atmosphere without too much of it being absorbed. The reflected radiation from the earth is transmitted in longer waves and cannot pass through the layer of gases, and the heat has nowhere to go and remains in the atmosphere.
Its name comes from the similar concepts found in the ideas behind a greenhouse. The area inside the glass is heated from light and radiation from the sun. The ground and air inside the house are warmed, but the heat cannot escape the glass.
In this scene, we see a nice, sunny day shining down on a flower inside of a glass greenhouse.
Light and radiation are transmitted to earth's surface from the sun. The short waves easily pass through the glass panels and warm the ground inside and out of the greenhouse in the same way.
Once the ground has warmed up, the heat energy rises in longer wavelengths, different from the light and radiation. As you can see, the uncovered ground's heat is released into the atmosphere unhindered. In the greenhouse, the heat is trapped inside the glass, unable to pass through.
This is what we would like to avoid. In real greenhouses, there are systems to regulate the heat, such as fans and small windows that can be opened or closed depending on the situation. The problem with earth is that no one is moderating us. If we don't want to live in the uncomfortably hot age currently headed our way, we need to adjust something, just like if you leave a greenhouse without any form of heat regulation, everything in it will die a warm death.
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