Climate change: the effect of green house gases
Climate change has become a global concern as its ramifications begin to become manifest (Le Treut, 2007). There have been drastic changes in climate patterns the world over that has seen to periods of extreme weather, from sweltering summer heat waves with record temperatures to typhoons, storms, and El Niño, the weather has run amok. One of the factors that is deemed as being a major contributor to the drastic climate change is the greenhouse gas effect, defined by Rachelle Oblack, as the trapping of heat from the sun by gasses within the atmosphere, much like how a real greenhouse operates (Oblack, 2008).
The gasses that are responsible include methane, CO2, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons. The greenhouse effect is important because it has a big impact on weather patterns and climate change.
The impact on climate of the greenhouse effect is attributed to the change in atmospheric pressure that it brings about, which, in turn leads to changes to wind direction, air circulation and a shift in precipitation pattern the world over, (McCall, 2003).
So just who is to blame for the problem? Unfortunately enough, the largest contributor to this problem is also the biggest loser in the problems that are created, which is man. Emissions from industries have been blamed for the dramatic increase in gases in the atmosphere (Greenhouse gas online, 2000). For this reason, most of the efforts aimed at reducing the adverse impact of the effect on the weather are directed towards human activities. Apart from industrial emission agreements and international standards such as the Kyoto protocol, much emphasis has been placed on such other strategies as alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar and water, which had the dual advantage of providing renewable energy and at no expense to the environment (Untitled).
Greenhouse gas online, (2000). ‘The human influence’ Retrieved from the World Wide Web on Monday, 30th March 2009, URL http://www.ghgonline.org/humaninfluence.htm
Le Treut H, Somerville R, Cubasch U, Ding Y, Mauritzen C, Mokssit A, Peterson T and Prather M (2007). Historical Overview of Climate Change Science In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M and Miller HL, editors). Cambridge University Press.
McCall. William, (2003). ‘Greenhouse Gases affect weather patterns’ Retrieved from the World Wide Web on Monday, 30th March 2009, URL:
Oblack, Rachelle (2008), ‘Greenhouse Gasses’ Retrieved from the World Wide Web on Monday, 30th March 2009, URL: http://weather.about.com/od/g/g/greenhousegases.htm
Untitled (Undated). Global warming ‘Global Warming Climate Change Greenhouse Effect’ Retrieved from the World Wide Web on Monday, 30th March 2009, URL:http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/
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