As greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide from fossil fuel emissions rise into the atmosphere, they create an imaginary greenhouse around Earth. Unfortunately, heat due to infrared radiation,that normally radiates out of space is trapped near the Earth causing a rise in temperature. This seems like it isn't too much of a problem, however, as the polar ice caps continue to slowly melt away, the sea levels will rise and coastal communities can be at risk in the future. Also, warmer climates may extend the habitat of pests like mosquitoes in the future and perhaps malaria, a scourge of humans living in the tropics may experience an expansion of their habitat.
If the amont of greenhouse gases increases, average temperatures will rise, assuming that nothing else happens to counteract the effects of the gases.
The greenhouse gases are called this because they trap heat that is radiating off of the Earth. Normally, this heat would leak out of the atmosphere, but with greenhouse gases, it is held in to the atmosphere. This increases the temperature of the atmosphere.
The temperatures are increasing if the amount of greenhouse gases is increasing.
Since prehistoric times, the presence of CO in the atmosphere helps to retain the heat. But in recent years, the way people live has disturbed the natural processes, the result being a doubled amount of CO in the last century.
The most important gases that generate greenhouse effect are:
- carbon dioxide (59%) generated by burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil;
- exhaust gases;
- methane (18%) produced by cattle, burning wood, vegetation and fossil fuels;
- nitrate oxide (6%) by burning fossil fuels and wood