The Greenhouses Gases on the Earths Surface

The sun constantly and continuously gives off energy in the form of sunlight and radiates it to the earth’s atmosphere. The solar energy that touches the earth’s atmosphere is either absorbed by some of the earth’s particles or transmitted. The heat that reaches the earth’s surface is then emitted back to the atmosphere as infrared radiation. However, not all of the infrared radiation successfully passes out of the earth’s atmosphere because some atmospheric components absorb and therefore prevents infrared radiation from entirely leaving the atmosphere, The trapped heat is then eventually reradiated back to the earth’s surface (see Fig. 1). Such heat-trapping components are called greenhouse gases and the process of absorbing, trapping and reradiating infrared heat to the earth’s surface is called the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is what sustains life on earth because without it earth would be more than 30°C colder than what it should be and therefore, inhabitable by humans, animals, and plants. The present global warming is attributed to the more than usual amount of heat trapped and reradiated back by the greenhouses gases to the earth’s surface.
There are two classifications of gases found in the earth’s atmosphere: the primary gases made up of nitrogen, oxygen and argon which make up 99% of the gases, and. the trace gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOX), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and ozone (O3). These are trace gases, together with water vapor, are known collectively as greenhouse gases because they have the effect of warming the earth by trapping infrared radiation and transmitting it back to the surface of the earth (Hardy 2003 5). According to scientists, the earth is presently getting hotter and thereby affecting climate cycles because the trace gases in the earth’s atmosphere particularly CO2 are increasingly accumulating in the atmosphere as a result of fuel burning, deforestation, and changes in land use.