What are the disadvantages of the Greenhouse effect?
The Greenhouse effect explained:
Greenhouse effect is the mechanism by which thermal radiation from earth’s surface is reabsorbed by greenhouse gases and redirected in all directions. Some of the major green house gases are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane and ozone. Most of these gases are poor absorbers of solar radiation, therefore allowing much of the solar energy to pass through the earth’s atmosphere thereby warming up the earth’s surface. On the other hand, a proportion of the outgoing energy is absorbed by these gases, which is then redirected to earth’s surface therefore further warming up the atmosphere. This is what is called a greenhouse effect. For ages there has been a delicate balance between how much solar energy is redirected to earth and how much is reflected back to the space. With the increased burning of fossil fuels, the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has significantly increased thereby adding to the greenhouse effect.
The disadvantages of Green house effect:
- Since green house gases helps to maintain the temperature, the primary effect of the increase in greenhouse gases would be on climate. This would mean warmer summers with natural disasters. Hurricanes have become common in recent years.
- Water level balance of the earth would be destroyed. Polar ice caps would melt leading to an increase in the ocean level. Floods will inundate low lying areas.
- Marine life and ecosystem would be destroyed. Oceans absorb carbon dioxide thereby affecting the level of alkalinity. Many forms of marine life would be adversely affected if alkalinity increases. Polar ecosystems would be destroyed. In the Arctic, melting polar caps are threatening the habitats of polar bears and penguins.
- Global warming would also affect the weather pattern. Rainfall would become erratic in many parts of the world. This might eventually lead to desertification.
- The effect on human and economic life would also be tremendous. It is estimated that the rise in temperature would reduce global output by 2 to 3 percent. This cost would run into trillions of dollars. As agricultural production is affected, this might lead to frequent famines and famine related diseases.
Overall the impact of increased green house effect on climate and human life would be disastrous. The world community therefore needs to wakeup now before it is too late.
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