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Greenhouse Effect


A greenhouse allows for the Sun’s light to pass through its glass walls, trapping some of the heat inside. This enables the growth of plants in warm conditions even if it is cold outside the greenhouse. The Greenhouse Effect works in a similar way to keep Earth warm. Earth absorbs some of the sun’s energy and emits some of it back into the atmosphere as infrared radiation. Greenhouse gasses such as Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, Chlorofluorocarbons, and Water Vapor, located in the atmosphere, re-emit some of that heat back down to Earth, keeping the Earth warm.

Human activity, however, is disrupting the natural Greenhouse Effect. Increased burning and reliance on fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas has released more Carbon Dioxide and other Greenhouse Gasses into the atmosphere. This leads to more heat being absorbed by the gasses and re-emitted back to Earth, heightening global temperatures and resulting in droughts, heatwaves, rising sea levels, the melting of the polar ice caps, and increased natural disasters.

Despite the negative perception of Greenhouse Effect and Greenhouse Gasses due to Global Warming, they are necessary for our survival. At its core, the Greenhouse Effect regulates Earth’s temperatures and allows for life. Without the gasses, Earth would have an average temperature of -18 degrees Celsius and would be completely frozen over, unable to support life. It is only the excessive increase in these gasses outside the natural equilibrium that is putting the planet in dangerously warm conditions. 

The only solution to stopping the rise in global temperatures is to reduce our Greenhouse Gas output. This means switching to renewable energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower energy that don’t release any Carbon Dioxide. While our planet is working for a greener, renewable future, it has to do this at a much faster rate in order to delay the impacts of Global Climate Change for as long as possible.




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“What Is Renewable Energy?” United Nations, United Nations, Accessed 11 Jan. 2024. 

“Free Group Study Rooms with Timer & Music: Fiveable.” All 38 AP Subjects, Accessed 11 Jan. 2024. 

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“What Is the Greenhouse Effect? | Global Ideas.” YouTube, YouTube, 5 Nov. 2012, 


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