Definition of the Greenhouse Effect, the Process of Occurrence & Impact

The greenhouse effect is a term to describe the conditions of the earth that have a greenhouse-like effect above. The sun’s heat is trapped by the earth’s atmosphere. Gases in the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide (CO2) can hold the sun’s heat which causes the sun’s heat to be trapped in the earth’s atmosphere.

Under normal conditions, the sun illuminates the earth during the day so that the surface will feel warm. Meanwhile, at night the earth’s surface will feel cold. However, because there is a greenhouse effect, some of the heat that should be reflected off the earth’s surface is trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. That is what causes the earth to get warmer from year to year.

Do you know? The greenhouse effect can warm the earth to 59 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius. Thus, the earth becomes a good and livable place. Without the participation of the greenhouse effect, the world would only be a frozen place and uninhabitable.

Greenhouse Effect According to Experts

1. New Mexico Energy Association, United States of America (USA)

The greenhouse effect is an event when heat on earth is trapped because it is blocked by emission gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Most of the gas emissions come from vehicle, factory, and forest fires.

2. Environmental Protection Agency (USA)

The greenhouse effect is the process of increasing the average temperature of the earth’s surface due to the depletion of the earth’s atmosphere which can also have an impact on leakage. This causes the weather on earth to get warmer because the sun’s rays are no longer protected by the atmosphere.

3. Natural Resources Defense Council

The greenhouse effect is an environmental and humanitarian crisis that is currently happening on earth. The temperature of the earth’s surface is increasing because it is trapped by more and more carbon dioxide gas from day to day. This makes the earth hotter and has the potential to cause disaster.

The gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect include water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), ozone (O3), nitrous oxide (N2O), CFC (Chloro Fluoro Carbon), and HFC (Hydro Fluoro Carbon). .

The gases are actually needed so that the earth is not too cold. However, since the industrial revolution, gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and other harmful gases have increased in the atmosphere. The concentration is also increasing due to human activity. If the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases, the greenhouse effect will increase.

The Process of the Greenhouse Effect

The sun’s heat that enters through the glass roof is partly reflected out of the atmosphere, while the other part is trapped in the greenhouse which causes the temperature to rise. Another example, imagine when you are in a car parked under the hot sun and your car windows are closed.

The heat that enters through the windshield is partially reflected back out through the glass, while some is trapped inside the car. This results in a higher temperature inside the car than outside.

When the greenhouse effect occurs, there is glass gas that comes out and then forms a layer that covers the earth. The glass gas is in the form of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen dioxide, and several other gases and is a natural industrial reaction.

Please note, the earth we live in is covered by a layer of the atmosphere. Through the process of the greenhouse effect, there are gas particles floating between the earth and the atmosphere. This causes geothermal heat to bounce and must be taken out.

In the process, geothermal heat comes back in which causes the earth’s temperature to rise and then finally warms up. Initially, the condition of the earth will only warm it up. However, if this continues, the earth will not only warm but also warm up globally. This is known as global warming .

The Impact of the Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect has no small impact. If we don’t immediately move to overcome it, the greenhouse effect will get bigger and can be life threatening.

1. Global Warming

Because the greenhouse effect can cause global warming , of course it will threaten all ecosystems because the earth’s temperature is rising which is also discussed in the Global Warming book below.

2. Melting of Arctic Ice

The next impact is the melting of ice at the poles which also has an impact on the sustainability of the ecosystem. The melting of the ice causes sea level rise which can submerge low areas.

3. Ecosystem Damage & High Ocean Acidity

Then, the sea will become more acidic because the concentration of greenhouse gases increases. Acidic sea water can kill coral reefs and other ecosystems.

4. Depletion of the Ozone Layer

Finally, the thinning of the ozone layer can cause the danger of ultraviolet rays reaching the earth’s surface.

Causes of the Greenhouse Effect

1. Illegal Logging and Forest Burning

Without realizing it, plants have many benefits for humans. Aside from being a food source, plants also function as a medium to reduce the greenhouse effect. To photosynthesize, plants need carbon dioxide and water vapor.

The amount of illegal logging will result in reduced media that reduce the greenhouse effect. In fact, burning forests on a large scale also causes an increase in the greenhouse effect. When forests are burned, greenhouse gases such as CO2 are formed. The gas will be released into the air, then becomes a barrier to solar radiation.

In addition, increasingly narrow forests can also be a cause of the greenhouse effect. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the main perpetrators of large-scale forest fires. Because, forest land has a very important role for living things. Forests are also the lungs of the world that must be protected. Narrowing forest land will result in worsening weather.

Without the existence of forests, there is nothing to help convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. It will interfere with breathing and the occurrence of air pollution. Based on data from the World Bank, as many as 14.5 million hectares of forest are destroyed every year. This is due to various illegal and legal human activities.

Land clearing through burning for industrial areas and residences can also cause a greenhouse effect. In addition, trees that should be able to absorb carbon dioxide will also decrease which in the end can cause various disasters such as floods & the forest logging tragedy discussed in the book Global Warming.

2. Excessive use of fossil fuels

Fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal that are used in excess will have a negative impact on air quality. In addition, it can increase the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

3. Marine Pollution

As is known, the oceans can absorb carbon dioxide in large quantities. However, the sea can be polluted due to industrial waste and garbage. As a result, many of the ecosystems in it were destroyed so that the sea could no longer absorb carbon dioxide as discussed in the Textbook on Marine Pollution below.

4. Agricultural Industry

The use of non-organic fertilizers to increase agricultural yields is also bad for the environment. This is because it can produce greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide which is then released into the air.

5. Household Waste

If household waste is left unattended, it will gradually produce methane gas and carbon dioxide from waste decomposing bacteria. Therefore, to increase human awareness, respect and responsibility for the environment, there is environmental science that you can learn from the Environmental Health Ecology book.

6. Livestock Industry

Livestock industry waste such as cow dung can produce greenhouse gases, for example carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). The more livestock waste that is left, the greater the greenhouse gases released into the air.

7. Consumptive Lifestyle

If you consume too much of an item, it can also have a negative impact on the environment. For information, the products used by humans contribute 60% of greenhouse gas producers. How could that be? Yes, this is due to the use of a lot of energy to produce industrial or consumption goods, for example the use of electricity and coal.

The United Nations even estimates that consumers are buying 60 percent more clothes than 15 years ago. However, the clothes that were bought were only kept. The same thing also happens to electronic products that are rarely used.

8. Plastic Waste

The results of human activities also contribute to the greenhouse effect, for example piles of plastic waste whose volume is out of control. If it is not decomposed or recycled, the waste will only pollute the environment.

According to research, plastic emits methane and ethylene gases when exposed to sunlight and results in damage. Natural or artificial methane gas can be a major cause of climate change. This is because these two gases contribute to an increase in global warming.

Methane gas ranks second in environmental destruction. Methane gas comes from organic materials, commonly found in the breakdown of bacteria in agriculture, plantations and animal husbandry. If livestock production is higher, methane gas will also increase to be released into the earth’s surface.

Methane is a greenhouse gas. Methane can trap heat in the atmosphere and is emitted during coal, natural gas and oil production activities. Leftover food that is wasted and becomes garbage also produces methane. Do you know? Indonesia is ranked number two as a food waste producing country.

To reduce the accumulation of plastic waste, many people are trying to use plastic as recycling. As one of them discussed in the book From Plastic Waste to Gasoline & Diesel.

9. Carbon Monoxide Gas

Carbon monoxide gas is closely related to human activities. Especially human activities related to motorized vehicles. Carbon monoxide gas will be released by motorized vehicles to cause pollution. One solution to reduce carbon monoxide gas is to limit the use of motorized vehicles. You can walk more or use public transportation. Although not completely overcome, at least it can reduce pollution production.

10. Wasteful Electricity

Excessive use of electricity can cause evaporation of electricity. Therefore, we must be more efficient in using electricity. Use electricity as needed and not carelessly, for example turning off lights when they are not needed.

The electricity tax has already been paid, but saving electricity must still be done to prevent the greenhouse effect. This is not solely due to money problems, but related to environmental health issues. Electricity can increase the amount of carbon dioxide gas on earth and cause global warming. In addition, of course it can damage the environment.

11. Gasoline Fuel

Excessive use of gasoline can also increase the cause of the greenhouse effect. Gasoline fuel used in cars and motorcycles will give rise to carbon dioxide gas. This gas will greatly affect global warming. In the end, this carbon dioxide gas will catch the hot light. However, this hot light cannot be channeled into outer space which eventually returns to earth and has a bad impact on air pollution on earth.

12. Uncontrolled Chloro Four Carbon

Chloro Four Carbon is one of the causes of the greenhouse effect which is difficult to avoid. However, CFCs can still be handled and controlled. CFCs are chemicals that are combined into household products. This equipment can indeed support life, but it is not recommended if it is used excessively. These CFCs are usually found in refrigerators and air conditioners.

13. Excessive Tissue Use

Are you a tissue user? It is undeniable that tissue is an object that cannot be separated in everyday life. However, it turns out that excessive use of tissues can be a contributor to increasing global warming. This is because tissue is made from wood fibers that come from trees and then processed again using advanced technology.

The more tissue is used, the more wood fiber will be produced. It also causes a decrease in the supply of trees on earth. As a result, the supply of oxygen decreases and results in depletion of the ozone layer. Furthermore, the air quality will deteriorate and can harm all creatures on earth.

You can also study various effects of greenhouses in the book Magic Thousand Character Series: The Threat of Global Warming which discusses this topic through illustrations and animation.

14. Industrial Gases

Even though gas from industry is the cause of the greenhouse effect, not a few industries ignore it. Gas from this industry can cause air pollution because the factory smoke is excessive and not properly accommodated. The gases produced include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methane gas.

The carbon content produced by industrial activities was recorded at 412 parts per million in the last 150 years. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen oxides have caused an increase in the earth’s temperature over the last 50 years. The International Energy Agency also noted that between 2000-2016 the People’s Republic of China became the country that contributed the first largest carbon dioxide emissions in the world. Meanwhile, Indonesia ranks 6th after Russia with a value of 2.053 billion tons.

How to Cope with the Increasing Greenhouse Effect

1. Save electrical energy

You can use electricity as needed. Thus, you can contribute to efforts to reduce the use of coal which can cause carbon dioxide gas emissions in the air.

2. Switch from Chemical Fertilizer to Organic Fertilizer

In order to increase agricultural yields, we do not have to use chemical or non-organic fertilizers. On the other hand, we can use organic fertilizers at optimal levels in order to produce abundant agriculture. If the use of non-organic fertilizers can be reduced, N2O gas emissions will also be reduced.

3. Using Environmentally Friendly Fuel

Environmentally friendly fuels are still rarely found in Indonesia, for example solar panels and electric fuel. The fuel is said to be friendly because it does not produce pollutants that harm the environment.

4. Processing Livestock Waste

Waste is one of the contributors to greenhouse gases, especially livestock waste. In order to reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions, waste can be processed into biogas. Biogas can be used as an alternative energy source to replace fossil fuels.

5. Promoting Reforestation

Reforestation is one of many solutions to address greenhouse gas emissions in the air. The reforested plants will absorb carbon dioxide and water vapor as raw materials for photosynthesis.

6. Limit the use of plastic

Plastic is a polymer compound that is very difficult to degrade in the soil. One way to reduce plastic waste is to burn it. However, that combustion will produce carbon dioxide gas which is not small. Therefore, limit the use of plastic by bringing your own water bottle or carrying a cloth bag when shopping.


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