Greenhouse gas is a term that gets thrown around a lot. At first you might think it has something to do with fueling the big see-through buildings that people grow plants in. Well, not quite. Although, greenhouse gases work on our environment similar to what a greenhouse does for plants. A greenhouse traps heat so that crops can be protected from cold weather. Greenhouse gases trap heat on earth and prevent it from leaving the atmosphere.
Now, that may sound good to you. Maybe you prefer to be warm all the time. But, trapping too much heat is not good for maintaining temperature on earth. The sun emits radiation that reaches the earth. In order to prevent the earth from getting really hot some of this radiation needs to be released back into space. When the radiation that hits earth is equal to the radiation leaving earth that allows for the temperature of earth to be maintained. When there is more radiation coming to earth than there is leaving earth, temperatures begin to rise.
Right now, the amount of radiation leaving earth is not enough to maintain temperatures due to the increase in greenhouse gases created by humans. The increase in temperature has no only an effect on our climate but it also increases the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The major greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and nitrous oxide. Waste releases methane into our atmosphere. The more waste we have the more methane that gets released. As we learned earlier when greenhouse gases increase so does the temperature. Increasing temperatures in itself also leads to an increase in greenhouse gases. Water vapor is created by evaporation. As temperatures increase, so does the amount of water that evaporates.
In order to maintain temperature, As the earth’s temperature increases, so does the amount of radiation emitted from earth. However, without a reduction in the amount of greenhouse gases being put in the atmosphere, the earth cannot emit enough radiation back into space to maintain the temperature on earth. Which keeps the earth in a loop of increasing temperatures until the amount of radiation the earth receives is equal to the amount of radiation that makes it out of the atmosphere.
While there are several ways to reduce greenhouse gases, reducing waste is the easiest way for each individual person to contribute to the environment. When it comes to reducing waste, one person truly can make a difference.