The Greenhouse effect actually helps to maintain the temperature of the surface of the earth.
The energy from the sun comes to the earth and is some of it is converted to heat. Much of this radiation is absorbed by atmospheric gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane along with water vapour. As this energy travels through the earth’s atmosphere, only about 51% of the Sun’s radiation reaches the surface. This energy is then used in a number of processes, that will include the heating of the earth’s surface, the melting of ice and snow and the process in which vegetation converts energy called photosynthesis.
The earth surface radiates energy known as infrared energy because of the wavelength which is approximately 750 nanometres. A nanometre is one-billionth of a meter. This energy emitted is generally directed to space, however, only a small portion of this energy actually makes it back to space as much of it is absorbed by the greenhouse gases
Absorption of the infrared radiation by the atmosphere causes additional heat energy to be added to the Earth’s atmosphere. The greenhouse gases, now warmer, with more energy, begin radiating long wave energy in all directions. Over 90% of this emission of long wave or infrared energy is directed back to the Earth’s surface where it once again is absorbed by the surface. The cycle is repeated until all the long wave energy is absorbed.
The increased amount of heat from the greenhouse effect is controlled by the concentration of the greenhouse gases. The concentration of greenhouse gases appears to have increased since the Industrial revolution.
The Industrial Revolution has brought multiple benefits to our planet, but there are now more people as global population increases and more people imply higher consumption. With the increased energy consumption, emissions have increased and the prediction and modelling indicates that the greenhouse effect is contributing to global warming. The computer model of the greenhouse effect suggests that the emission of the major greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide may cause the earth’s temperature to increase by 1 to 3º Celsius.
A number of gases produced or associated with our energy consumption, in addition to carbon dioxide that seem to enhance the greenhouse effect, include very strong gases, known as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), that are released from aerosol sprays, refrigerants, methane, nitrous oxide and tropospheric ozone.
Scientists and researchers predict that by the middle of the next century, the temperature of the earth may be 1 to 3° Celsius higher than today, which can have devastating effect on the planet. It may be in our best in interest, to curtail production and release of greenhouse gases
The Greenhouse effect may keep us warmer, but it may be causing serious damage to the planet as hotter climates have a dramatic effect on both plant and animal life. The Greenhouse effect may also be responsible for an increased number of diseases where the human body is forced to function at higher temperatures.