How do industrialized countries have an effect on the greenhouse effect and what should be done about it?

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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The greenhouse effect refers to the retention of a part of the energy that is emitted by the Sun and falls on the Earth in the form of solar radiation. The major components of the Earth's atmosphere, nitrogen, oxygen and argon are essentially transparent to infra-red radiation; if these were the only gases in the atmosphere the temperature of the Earth would be around 5.3 C. It is the presence of gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and ozone that can absorb infra-red radiation that leads to an increase in the temperature of the Earth.

Industrialized or developed nations are the primary contributors to the green house effect or the increase in the temperature of the Earth to unsustainable levels. This is primarily due the fact that the consumption of energy in these nations is many times that of lesser developed countries. This is in spite of the fact that the total population of people living in developed nations is substantially smaller than the number of people living in lesser developed nations. For example while the per capita consumption of energy in the US is around 100 kWh, the per capita consumption of energy in India is close to 10 kWh.

As the primary source of energy is fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil their combustion leads to the release of carbon dioxide. Industrialized nations can decrease the amount of carbon dioxide released by adopting sources of energy that do not release carbon dioxide. This includes solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, etc. The fact that developed nations have access to better technologies and the financial resources to develop alternate sources of energy makes it essential for them to adopt these. These can then gradually be adopted by all nations and the dangers that life on the Earth faces right now be averted

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saeedat | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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Industrialisation and globalisation are some of the factors contributing to increasing green house gasses. The consumption of fossil fuel, degradation of the environment in the quest for mineral resources, urbanisation, deforestation, increasing population and so on contribute to practices which undermine the capacity of the atmosphere to tackle gasses emitted. Of course industralisation plays a key role; carbon emissions are higher, power consumption also and then the heat emmitted from machinery and concrete structures all aid the erosion of the ozone layer.

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