One of the most challenging existing environmental problems is global warming. This refers to the change in climate that leads to an increase in the average atmosphere temperatures. Global warming is caused by a number of factors, but it is primarily associated with human action and more especially the excessive release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. An example of these human activities leading to increase in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere include burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas). These greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, water vapor, fluorinated gases and methane. These gases trap the sun’s heat from escaping back into the space. It is undeniable that over the past five or so decades, global warming has been the trend; society and the world has to be informed on the mechanisms through which the consequences of this condition can be lessened. This paper aims at explaining the greenhouse effect as the principal issues behind global warming, the effects suffered from global warming, and the efforts taken to combat the condition.
The sun is the main source of the energy that lights and warms the earth. Most of this light reaches the earth’s surface as short-wave radiation. When short wave radiation from the sun hits the earth’s surface it changes to long-wave infrared radiation, which bounces back into to space ("National Geographic"). However, there is a certain percentage of long-wave infrared radiation trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. On absorption and subsequent reflection of long-wave radiation to the surface of the earth, more heat is conserved on the surface of the earth ("Global Warming Effects Information, Global Warming Effects Facts, Climate Change Effects - National Geographic"). With the percentage of these gases in the atmosphere increasing, the amount of the heat trapped below increases. It is this trapping of the infrared radiation that is referred to as the...
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