Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect refers to the phenomenon whereby the Earth’s atmosphere traps and retains heat, thereby causing the planet to warm up. The natural greenhouse effect is crucial for life on Earth as it maintains a comfortable temperature range for humans and other organisms. However, the burning of fossil fuels has increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide (CO2), which has intensified the greenhouse effect, leading to global warming.

CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb and re-emit the longwave radiation that is emitted by the Earth’s surface, trapping it in the atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space. As a result, the amount of outgoing solar radiation that the Earth loses is reduced, causing an imbalance in the energy budget of the planet. This imbalance leads to a net increase in the amount of energy that is retained by the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in higher temperatures, changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels, and other impacts on ecosystems and human societies.