Greenhouse Essay, Research Paper

The difference between Ozone Depletion

and Global Warming

Ozone Depletion

The Ozone Layer is a region of the atmosphere from 19 to 48 km (12 to 30 mi) above the Earth s surface. Scientists were concerned when they discovered in the 1970s that chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs long used as refrigerants and as aerosol spray propellants posed a possible threat to the ozone layer. These chlorine-containing chemicals rise and are broken down by sunlight. The chlorine reacts with and destroys ozone molecules – up to 100,000 per CFC molecule. Destruction of the ozone layer is predicted to cause increases in UV radiation (causing an increase in skin cancer), damage to certain crops and to plankton and the marine food web, and an increase in carbon dioxide due to the decrease in plants and plankton.

Global Warming

Global Warming is an increase in the Earth s temperature caused by too many greenhouse gases. Excess amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide result in trapping too much infrared heat from the sun, causing an increase in the Earth s temperature.

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

The Greenhouse Effect is an extremely vital process where INFRARED (IR) rays from the sun come into the Earth s atmosphere. The atmosphere then traps these rays after they have come in (like the glass in a greenhouse) keeping the Earth warm and habitable. CO2 (carbon dioxide), N2O(nitrous oxide), and CH4(methane) are destroying the atmosphere, causing more INFRARED (IR) rays to reflect on Earth.

The Problem with the Greenhouse Effect

Having more infrared rays reflected on Earth makes the Earth warmer. As temperatures on Earth rise, so does the ocean water level and the ice caps begin to melt. The worst possible scenario with this problem would be mass flooding in low lying areas of the Earth including many islands in the ocean which would basically disappear, most of Florida would be underwater, all coastline cities, and river deltas such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Egypt, Louisiana and other parts of the U.S. It will also cause more tropical storms, hurricanes, extreme temperatures and droughts.

Causes of the Greenhouse Effect

The main causes of the Greenhouse Effect are gases called CO2(carbon dioxide), N2O(nitrous oxide), and CH4(methane). Small amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air helps keep heat in the Earth in the vital process of the Greenhouse Effect. As car exhausts and industries continue to shoot CO2 in the air, the amount of CO2 in the will increase. This causes more heat to be kept, increasing the Earth s temperature. Methane and Nitrous Oxide has the same effects as CO2, but they have a less harmful effect on the Greenhouse Effect.

Solutions for the Greenhouse Effect

If the Greenhouse Effect is being treated the way it is now, the polar ice caps would gradually melt, resulting in climate changes, more hurricanes and tropical storms, and mass flooding on Earth. This is called Global Warming.

To prevent Global Warming we must reduce usage of greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide).

Carbon dioxide is usually produced from industry and automobile usage. We can increase automobile efficiency by carpooling, walking, cycling, or using public transportation. Also, the electric car may soon be available to the public. (With this you must remember that if coal power plants, oil power plants, or other fossil fuel burning power plants are used to power the car, then it does not help the problem much.)

The amount of methane in the air can be reduced by preventing forest fires and the depletion of trees. Only humans can cut down trees or burn forests.

Nitrous oxide usage can reduced by not using nitrogen-based fertilizers. It can also be prevented by using fossil fuel power plants for electricity less and less. Nitrous oxide also comes from automobile exhaust.

The Greenhouse Effect is probably the most serious problem on Earth. By reducing greenhouse gas emission usage little by little we can help the environment by preventing Global Warming.

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