Friday, October 25, 2019

Global Warming and Greenhouse Gases Essay -- Climate Change, Greenhous

Global Warming and Greenhouse Gases The earth’s climate is predicted to change because human activities are altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere through the buildup of greenhouse gases –– primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The heat-trapping property of these gases is undisputed. Although uncertainty exists about exactly how earth’’s climate responds to these gases, global temperatures are rising. Go to the Emissions section for much more on greenhouse gases. Energy from the sun drives the earth’’s weather and climate, and heats the earth’’s surface; in turn, the earth radiates energy back into space. Atmospheric greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases) trap some of the outgoing energy, retaining heat somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse. Without this natural â€Å"â€Å"greenhouse effect,†Ã¢â‚¬  temperatures would be much lower than they are now, and life as known today would not be possible. Instead, thanks to greenhouse gases, the earth’’s average temperature is a more hospitable 60 °ÃŒÅ F. However, problems may arise when the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases increases. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30%, methane concentrations have more than doubled, and nitrous oxide concentrations have risen by about 15%. These increases have enhanced the heat-trapping capability of the earth’’s atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols, a...

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