Since the industrial revolution in the 1800s the Earth’s climate has been changing drastically. The most notable effect is the greenhouse effect where most of the radiation obtained from the sun stays stuck on Earth instead of being released back into space. It’s not an inherently bad thing and it’s kept the Earth at a hospiable temperature for billions of years but if it gets too strong as it has now it can have disastrous consequences.

The greenhouse effect is caused by certain gases such as carbon dioxide and methane trapping heat (mostly in the form of infared radiation). With a lot of extra greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere by various sources the greenhouse effect has strengthened. This strong greenhouse effect in recent times has increased the Earth’s temperature by up to 2.5ºC (36.5ºF) since 1885 (as of 2014). Effects from this are various such as the oceans heating up, polar ice caps melting (which causes the sea level to rise), and disrupting food chains worldwide. Though unlikely unless trends become way worse, the Earth could end up similar to the planet Venus, which has a heavy, thick atmosphere made mostly of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid that traps almost all the heat it gets.

Though most people don’t usually think of Venus when talking about greenhouse emissions, people are well aware the Earth could be heated up to a point where most life dies. It’s a rational fear to have and I think it’s a good motivator for making more Earth friendly stuff. To counter this possibility some people are trying to convert to renewable and cleaner forms of energy such as hydroelectricity and solar power. It’s a healthy action and it could clean up the amosphere a bit by having people rely less on electric and nuclear power plants which produce a lot of greenhouse gases. I think that this is the first and easiest step to help bring our planet to health again.


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