Day: December 6, 2016

Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases

12/06/16

“What causes global warming in our atmosphere?”

 

On the news and social media, you will probably hear much discussion relating to a planet destroying phenomena called “global warming” which raises the temperatures of the Earth’s atmosphere. However, what exactly causes this malignant circumstance? As scientific thinkers, let’s get to the bottom of this. To start with, it would be rational to understand what keeps heat on our planet in the first place. In our atmosphere, there are components known as greenhouse gases (namely carbon dioxide, methane, and others) which are capable of absorbing infrared radiation, thereby trapping the warmth emitted by our sun on to our terrestrial home. Before the beginning of the industrial revolution, the levels of greenhouse gases present were just enough to keep the Earth in a temperature equilibrium. However, the many fuel sources used by humanity such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas emit greenhouse gases themselves, therefore adding to this stockpile, and causally a higher amount of heat will be trapped. This rising buildup is most worrying to the future of humanity, with the amount of  CO2 in the atmosphere being over double pre-industrial levels and the average temperature rising over 2 degrees celsius! However, with the use of non-greenhouse gas emitting technology such as solar power and wind turbines, humanity can finally get of this trepidation-filled trend.