Greenhouse effect

Greenhouse Effect: Harmful Effects on the World Climate

What is - definition

The climate phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect has contributed to the rise in temperature on the globe in recent decades. Recent survey data show that the twentieth century was the warmest in the last 500 years.

Summary of main causes and consequences (effects)

World climate researchers say that, in the very near future, the warming of the global warming could favor ice melting from the ice caps and rising sea levels. As a consequence of this process, many cities located on the coast could be flooded and disappear from the map. The greenhouse effect is caused by the clearing and burning of forests, because they regulate the temperature, winds and rainfall in various regions of the planet. As forests are decreasing in the world, the earth's temperature has been increasing at the same rate.

Another factor that is causing the greenhouse effect is the release of pollutant gases into the atmosphere, especially those resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. The burning of diesel and gasoline by vehicles in large cities has contributed to the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are concentrated in certain areas of the atmosphere, forming a layer that blocks heat dissipation. This layer of pollutants, so visible in large urban centers, acts as a "thermal insulator" of planet Earth. Heat is trapped in the lower layers of the atmosphere bringing severe climate and ecological problems to the planet.

Scientists on environmental issues are already predicting the future problems that could hit our planet if this situation continues. Several ecosystems may be affected and plant species (plants and trees) and animals may become extinct.

Other ecological disasters could occur, such as the melting of glaciers and flooding of islands and coastal regions caused by global warming. Typhoons, hurricanes, tidal waves and floods could devastate areas with greater intensity. These climate changes will negatively influence agricultural production in many countries, reducing the amount of food on our planet. Rising temperatures in the seas may cause sea currents to deviate, causing the extinction of various species of marine animals, disrupting the coastal ecosystem.

Concerned about all these problems, international environmental organizations, NGOs and governments of various countries are already taking measures to reduce pollution and the emission of gases into the atmosphere. The Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997 in Japan, foresees the reduction of the emission of pollutant gases for the next years. However, countries like the United States have hindered the progress of this agreement. The United States, the world's largest industrial power and also the largest polluter, argue that reducing polluting gases could hinder the growth of industrial production in the country.