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Greenhouse Effect Is it Getting Warmer By definition the greenhouse effect is a term for the role the atmosphere plays in insulating and warming the earths surface In modern society this is the term for something better known as global warming The earths climate is predicted to change drastically in the next century due to human activity As the population of the world increases so does the anount of greenhouse gasses produced These include mainly carbon dioxide methane and nitrous oxide Carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere when solid waste fossil fuels oil natural gas and coal and wood and wood products are burned Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal natural gas and oil Methane can also come from the decomposition of organic waste and livestocks waste cow poop Nitrous oxide is emitted during agricultural and industrial activities as well as during burning of solid waste and fossil fuels httpwwwepagovglobalwarming Light energy comes through the earths atmosphere and is absorbed It is then transformed into heat energy at the planets surface This heat energy then radiates upward into space There the greenhouse gases found naturally in the troposphere absorb some of the infrared radiation The gases insulate the Earth but do eventually allowing some of the heat to escape The rest of the heat reflects back down to earth where it is bounced back up again Almost like an ongoing game of ping-pong With more of the greenhouse gasses being let out into the atmosphere there are more ping-pong balls going back and forth Granted without these greenhouse gasses the earth would almost freeze and fall into another ice age but with all this extra heat the average temperature of the earth will rise causing drastic damage What sort of damage you ask It is predicted that the earths average tempature could rise as much as 6 F in the next hundred years Encarta 2000 If this does
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