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The Greenhouse Effect





What is the greenhouse effect?

Some scientists believe that the build up of greenhouse gases is a danger to our world. But is this fact or fiction? And can we do simple things in our day to day lives to help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions?

Over the past 200 years people on Earth have burned coal,
oil and natural gases as sources of energy. When these
fuels are burned they release gases into the air. Some
scientists believe that the build up of gases is a danger
to our world. The build up of gases is what causes the
greenhouse effect.

But why is it called the greenhouse effect?
Because like a greenhouse the gases prevent
the warm air from rising and escaping into our atmosphere.
When this occurs the Earths temperature will increase.


Can people create the greenhouse effect?
In many countries people are clearing large areas
of rainforests to make money by selling the trees for lumber.
When people clear the rainforests they are burning
gases into the air. The burning releases gases into the air
just like burning oil or natural gas does.


What about global warming?
The 19th century industrialization period in American history
was the first time that humans started an increased burning
of coal, oil, and natural gas. Coal, oil, and natural gas releases
carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when they are burned. If
carbon dioxide builds up into the atmosphere it acts in a
greenhouse effect. Which means that the carbon dioxide
that is released into the atmosphere then soaks up the heat
that the earth's surface reflects and this in turn means that the
heat can no longer escape into space. Another outcome of the
carbon dioxide becoming trapped in the atmosphere is the
atmosphere becoming warmer.


Can we do anything to limit the amount
of carbon dioxide that escapes into the atmosphere?

The answer to this question is yes we can help reduce the
amount of gases that are released into the earths atmosphere
by cutting the amount of coal, oil, and natural gas that we use
in our day to day lives. Many states are now even offering
incentives for companies and individuals to use the newer
hybrid breed of automobiles which cut down on greenhouse gas
emissions.


So is global warming and the greenhouse
effect just all hype?

Some scientists do not agree about the greenhouse effect.
They feel that the worlds temperature is not rising and that
the earth is not getting warmer. The predictions that we hear
on the news are said by scientists to be very extreme. By
studying the earths temperatures scientists are hoping to be
able to see if the greenhouse effect is actually occurring.
If you watch the nightly news or read any newspapers or
magazines you are bound to hear about the greenhouse effect
and global warming. This issue is a very hot topic and one we
are sure to hear more of in the future. Of course the predictions
we hear can be rather scary but I think if we keep in mind that the
weather is constantly changing and take those few extra steps to help
our earth by doing many simple things we are already doing like
recycling, planting trees, and car pooling or taking public transportation
when we can then we will know that we had a part in helping to keep our
beautiful earth healthy for generations to come. And we need to keep in
mind that some things are simply out of our control and that means
the climate and weather changes.

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