The Greenhouse Effect and
What is the Greenhouse Effect? - Most supporters of the many
alternative energy options available
today talk about the greenhouse effect on global
Cutting down on
our use of oil, coal, and natural gas will significantly
reduce the greenhouse effect that is a daily part of our
However, if you don't understand this terminology, you probably will not
understand the serious consequences of the greenhouse
effect or why it is important to pursue alternative
By learning about the greenhouse effect, you can see
that not only will the earth's supply of fossil fuels
run out within the next few hundred years, but the state
of the earth's atmosphere and weather conditions will be
drastically changed by this time, for the worse.
The greenhouse effect is a relatively easy process to
Renewable Energy -
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Ethanol - Gas of the
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◙ Geothermal Energy
It all begins with
solar energy, which reaches the earth in rays of light,
most of which are visible. These rays of light heat the
earth's surface, as you can clearly tell on a sunny day.
The earth reflects this heat energy back into space at
almost an equal rate from which it is received, and the
process starts all over again, as more sunrays reach the
earth the next day.
However, a layer of gasses surrounds the earth. This is
known as the atmosphere. Some of the gasses in the
atmosphere trap the heat energy as it exits back into
space and re-reflects it back to the earth's surface.
Over time, this rate of reflection remains constant, so
our overall weather and climate patterns do not change.
The three gasses in the atmosphere that trap this energy
from the sun are water, carbon dioxide, and methane.
When fossil fuels are burned, such as at power plants or
when you drive your car, the result of the chemical
reaction used to create power is carbon dioxide. This
carbon dioxide is released into the air, causing smog,
which accounts for the haziness you see around larger
cities at night. All of the extra carbon dioxide in the
air is not only dangerous to breath, but it also means
that more of the sun's heat is being captured by the
atmosphere and is being once again reflected to the
Therefore, the average temperature of the earth is
slowly rising, since more and more heat is being trapped
in the atmosphere every day. Over time, this is melting
the ice caps slowly and raising the ocean level. This
will cause climate shifts and different weather patterns
Unfortunately, without stopping the use of fossil fuels,
it is believed by many people that we cannot stop the
greenhouse effect of Global warming..
By researching alternative forms of energy, such as
nuclear, wind, water, and solar power, scientists can
find a renewable form of energy that does not cause the
greenhouse effect, and perhaps the process can be
slowed, creating a healthier earth.