Hi there! In this week’s news and science update, I’ll be writing only the first part of this topic: air pollution. Part 1 will be about the causes of air pollution while part 2 will focus on the effects of air pollution on humans and the environment. Hopefully, splitting it up like this will help you guys!
So, what is air pollution?
The National Geographic magazine states that everything that humans introduce into the atmosphere and harms living creatures is air pollution. Some forms of air pollution are visible, for instance, smog. Others are more subtle and less obvious.
The Greenhouse Effect
Have you ever heard of this term, the “greenhouse effect”? Knowing what about the greenhouse effect is essential for understanding how air pollution works. First, let’s talk about what greenhouses are and how they operate. Greenhouses are glass houses that trap sunlight and keeps the inside of the glass house warm. The heat trapped inside and cannot escape into the outside. This is why people grow plants in greenhouses.
So, the greenhouse effect is the idea that our Earth’s atmosphere works just like a greenhouse. It traps the heat emitted by the sun and keeps the planet warm. At night, Earth cools down, and some of the heat is from the ground is released into the air and keeps Earth warm at night. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere help make this possible.
Greenhouse gases are the gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect. The most common ones are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ozone, and fluorinated gases (which are gases that are created through industrial processes conducted by humans. Some examples of activities that cause these are the following:
- burning fossil fuels to produce energy emit a lot of carbon dioxide
- industrial factories that emit fluorinated gases
- deforestation increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the air
Enhanced Greenhouse Effect
The enhanced greenhouse effect is the problem that exists right now. It refers to the increasing amounts of greenhouse gases which are warming the Earth at an alarming rate. Why should we worry about this? First, this is contributing to global warming, and second, it is disrupting the pattern of Earth’s weather.
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