What does the term Greenhouse Gas or Effect mean?
The Earth has one primary energy source, the sun, it’s a burning star so hot that we can actually feel the heat from over 150 million kilometres away. The sun’s rays enter our atmosphere and shower on our planet with about a third of this solar energy being reflected back into the universe by glaciers, water and other bright surfaces. However, two thirds are absorbed by the Earth, warming land, oceans, and our atmosphere.
Much of this heat radiates back out into space, but some of it is stored in our atmosphere. This process is what we call the greenhouse effect. Without it, the Earth’s average temperature would be -18 ®c, despite the fact the sun would offer a constant energy supply.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere have gone up 38% since 1750 - the year the industrial revolution started. Rising levels of greenhouse gases are directly linked to human activity like burning fossil fuels and clearing forests. There is a clear link between more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and global warming.