In a Flash
The Green House Effect
Greenhouse gases in our atmosphere trap in heat from the Sun to keep the Earth warm.
While this natural phenomenon is good for our planet, the increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the last few centuries means the greenhouse effect is now getting too strong - causing the Earth to get hotter and hotter.
What are greenhouse gases?
Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide and methane. These gases occur naturally in our atmosphere, and are also released in relatively high quantities through activities such as burning fossil fuels.
An increase in greenhouse gases is causing our atmosphere to get hotter.
What is the natural greenhouse effect?
The Earth's atmosphere is like a giant greenhouse. Greenhouse gases act like the glass roof, trapping in heat from the Sun to keep our Earth's temperature nice and cosy. Without these gases, our planet would be much too cold.
What is the enhanced greenhouse effect?
While the greenhouse effect doesn't sound like anything to worry about, there's a problem.
Exhaust gases can be visible or invisible to the naked eye.
Over the last few centuries, humans have been burning fossil fuels on a massive scale to keep up with our rising energy demands. From cars to power plants, our appetite for carbon-releasing fossil fuels has been steadily increasing.
This means a significant amount of carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) have been pumped into our atmosphere for hundreds of years, causing the greenhouse effect to get much stronger.
Dead trees can no longer turn CO2 into much-needed oxygen.
How does the enhanced greenhouse effect cause global warming?
As the layer of greenhouse gases (the 'glass roof') gets thicker, more of the Sun's heat is trapped inside the atmosphere – and this causes the planet to heat up.
Global warming is one of the most significant factors in man-made climate change.
What Do You Mean?
The greenhouse effect is caused by gases in our atmosphere trapping in heat to keep the planet warm.
The enhanced greenhouse effect is caused by a rise in greenhouse gas emissions leading to more heat being trapped, which results in a warmer planet.
Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide and methane. Carbon dioxide is produced from the burning of fossil fuels like coal and gas.
The term 'greenhouse effect' was coined in 1820 by a man called Joseph Fourier – he figured out that the Earth's atmosphere must be keeping the planet warm, seeing as it was so far from the Sun.
The greenhouse effect is caused by gases in our atmosphere that trap in heat and keep the Earth warm. The burning of fossil fuels has caused the amount of greenhouse gases to increase, resulting in the planet getting hotter and hotter.
Carbon dioxide is produced from the burning of fossil fuels like coal and gas.
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