500+ Words Essay on Greenhouse Effect
Let us understand first what a greenhouse is. A greenhouse is a house that has walls and roof made up of glass. It is popularly used to grow tomatoes, tropical flowers, etc. A greenhouse remains warm even in winters because of its ability to trap heat and release it during colder times. The earth experiences a similar type of greenhouse effect.
When the sun’s hot ultraviolet rays touch the earth, around 26% of it is reflected back into the atmosphere, and about 19% of it is absorbed by clouds. The remaining energy is absorbed by the earth’s surface. The greenhouse effect is the way in which the sun’s heat gets trapped in the earth’s surface, thereby keeping it warm. Greenhouse gases like water vapour, carbon dioxide, ozone and methane are responsible for carrying out the greenhouse effect.
But due to human activities, there has been a splurge in the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere, which is causing the earth to be warmer. This is raising the temperatures on our planet and making it very hot to live on. This substantial increase in the greenhouse effect has given rise to global warming.
Causes of the Greenhouse Effect
The most prominent cause for the greenhouse effect is the burning of fossil fuels. We are primarily dependent on fossil fuels like coal, petrol, oil, etc. for a number of things. All of the vehicles that we use for transportation require fossil fuels to run. The carbon from them is released into the air and mixes with oxygen, thus forming carbon dioxide, which is the major contributor to the greenhouse effect. Coal is still used abundantly for the production of electricity.
Plants and trees take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. They help to trap excessive carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere and release oxygen which is essential for the survival of human beings and animals. But for various purposes like construction, humans have been cutting down trees and forests recklessly. There are two negative consequences of deforestation-:
- The earth now has lesser plants and trees to absorb carbon dioxide.
- When the wood from the trees is burnt, it releases all the carbon dioxide stored in it, back into the atmosphere.
The considerable rise in population over the previous decades also has a massive role in increasing the greenhouse effect. Due to an increase in demand for goods, newer industries and manufacturing hubs have been set up. The factories are responsible for releasing harmful and unfiltered gases into the air, thus aggravating the problem.
The fertilizers used in farming release nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas. Landfills are responsible for the release of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Consequences of the Greenhouse Effect
The greenhouse effect is responsible for causing global warming. This raises the sea levels. According to statistics, our oceans and seas have already risen by 4 to 8 inches. Because of these rising water levels, people living in the low land areas are forced to relocate and move to high land places.
The rising sea levels are also responsible for vast flooding. Because of the presence of excessive greenhouse gases, there have been drastic changes in the earth’s climate as well. Water is evaporating at a faster rate on land, and many countries like South Africa and Australia are already facing severe droughts. The amount of area suffering from droughts has doubled since the year 1970, even though there has been a 10% increase in the recorded annual rainfall.
Extreme heat brings with it numerous respiratory and cardiovascular problems. It increases the risk of infections and diseases such as dengue, malaria and cholera.
Ways to reduce the Greenhouse Effect
One of the easiest ways to reduce the greenhouse effect is by using less energy. Devices like lawnmowers, cars, etc. require the burning up of fossil fuels, hence try to lower your dependence on them as coal is used to produce electricity, attempt making use of alternatives such as wind energy and solar energy.
Try to limit your waste. Don’t purchase things that are not needed. This will help to decrease the energy required to produce them, as well as reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released in disposing of them. Try opting for greener and more environmentally friendly options. For example, instead of subscribing for monthly magazines, opt for their online versions. This will help in the reduction of paper manufacturing.
Another way to decrease the effect of greenhouse gases can be by planting more and more trees. This will help to absorb more carbon dioxide and release high amounts of fresh oxygen back into the air. Other ways of reducing the greenhouse effect include using public transport, committing to recycling, consuming more organic products, etc.
An increase in the greenhouse effect at such a rapid pace can prove to be dangerously harmful to the continuance of life on earth. Hence, each one of us should try to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet and take up measures to help better the current condition.