Any gas that allows solar radiation from the Sun to come to Earth, but absorbs longitudinal radiation from the Earth and increases the Earth’s temperature, is called a greenhouse gas. Currently, due to human reasons, the increasing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has become the cause of global warming and climate change. If their quantity is not controlled, then it will prove fatal for the human being as well as the whole world. Greenhouse gases are responsible for changes in the planet’s atmosphere or climate and eventually global warming. The most emissions are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, chloro-fluoro carbon, vapor, ozone, etc. Carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 40 times in the last 10-15 years. In other words, it has increased by 100 times since industrialization. Emissions of these gases are generated from common use appliances such as air conditioners, fridges, computers, scooters, cars, etc. The largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions are petroleum fuels.
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Effects of Greenhouse gases on Earth
Greenhouse gases are the absorption of heat emitted from the earth due to the greenhouse gases present in the Earth’s atmosphere and the increase in atmospheric temperature. In fact, due to the occurrence of the greenhouse effect, the temperature on the earth is controlled and plants, etc. get the required heat for their growth.
Naturally occurring greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere are:
Carbon dioxide (CO2) (the most prominent greenhouse gas)
Nitrous oxide (N2O)
The following are greenhouse gases produced or synthesized by humans:
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) (the most prominent greenhouse gas produced by humans)
Hydro Fluorocarbons (HFCs)
Sulfur hexachloride (SF6)
Main Reason for increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?
Greenhouse gases have a direct effect on the Earth’s atmosphere, as these gases act as blankets for the Earth. If these gases are not present and they do not absorb the heat, then the earth will be clouded on a cold planet and human life will not be able to live in its present form. Therefore, greenhouse gases have always been present in the atmosphere and have always maintained a certain temperature of the Earth through the greenhouse effect. Naturally found greenhouse gases do not change the temperature of the earth suddenly.
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But in the 19th and 20th centuries, the number of greenhouse gases emitted from human activities in the atmosphere increased as the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increased. The result of this is present in the form of Global Warming and other climatic changes. Global warming refers to an increase in the Earth’s long-term average temperature.
The following are the major reasons for the increase in greenhouse gases:
- Consumerist culture
- Smoke from burning fossil fuels in vehicles
- Destruction of forests
It has become a necessity today to control the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, so as to avoid the ill effects of global warming.
Following are the measures to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases:
Ways to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases
- Use more renewable and less polluting energy sources
- Consumer goods emitting greenhouse gases like television, refrigerators, air-conditioners, etc. should be used sparingly
- Use fewer vehicles or use less polluting fuels like CNG in vehicles
- Afforestation should be encouraged, as trees absorb greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide
- Energy should be used judiciously and continuously
- Disposal of carbon dioxide in the deep oceans, where they turn into semi-permanent compounds at low temperatures and high pressures.