What is Greenhouse Effect and Net-zero Carbon Emission? (PDF)

Warming of the Earth’s surface and troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere) in the presence of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and other specific gases in the air is called the greenhouse effect. Of these gases known as greenhouse gases, water vapor has the greatest impact. The atmosphere penetrates most of the sun’s visible light and reaches the surface of the earth. Since the surface of the earth is heated by sunlight, part of its energy is radiated into space as infrared rays.

Unlike visible light, this radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and raises their temperature. The heated atmosphere then radiates infrared rays to the surface of the earth. Without greenhouse warming, the average surface temperature of the Earth would be only about -18 ° C (0 ° F). On Venus, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is so high that it has a very high greenhouse effect, with surface temperatures up to 450 ° C (840 ° F).

The greenhouse effect is a naturally occurring phenomenon, but its effects can be amplified by the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a result of human activity. From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution to the end of the 20th century, the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere increased by about 30% and the methane content more than doubled. This global warming can change the Earth’s climate, create new patterns and extreme droughts and rainfall, and disrupt food production in certain regions.

Greenhouse Effect
Greenhouse Effect

What are greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases (also called GHGs) are gases in the Earth’s atmosphere that trap heat. During the day, the sun shines through the atmosphere, warming the surface of the earth. At night, the earth’s surface cools and radiates heat into the atmosphere. Part of the heat is however trapped by greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases on Earth trap heat in the atmosphere and warm the Earth. The main gases responsible for the greenhouse effect include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor (all of which are naturally occurring), and fluorinated gases.

Why is it called greenhouse gas?

Greenhouse gases are so named because they absorb infrared rays from the sun in the form of heat, which circulates in the atmosphere and eventually is lost to space.

Why CO2 is a greenhouse gas?

Carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere absorb far-infrared energy (heat) from the earth and then re-emit it, and some of it returns. This effectively traps the heat around the earth. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of several greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

What are greenhouse gases made of?

Greenhouse gases are water vapor, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. Some of these gases may not be very present in our atmosphere, but they can have a significant impact. Each greenhouse gas molecule is composed of three or more loosely bonded atoms.

Is ozone a greenhouse gas?

Ozone is technically a greenhouse gas, but it can be useful or harmful depending on where it is in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Is H2 a greenhouse gas?

H2 is an indirect greenhouse gas that reacts with other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to increase its Global Warming Potential (GWP).

What does net-zero carbon emission mean?

Net-zero means balancing the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere with the greenhouse gases removed. Think of it like a bath-turn on the faucet, add more water, and pull out the stopper to let the water flow out. The amount of water in the bath depends on both the input from the faucet and the output from the drain. To keep the amount of water in the bath at the same level, it is necessary to balance the entrance and exit. Reaching net-zero applies the same principles. It needs to balance the number of greenhouse gases we emit with the amount we remove. If you add only what you remove, you reach net zero. This condition is also called climate neutral. However, zero emissions and zero carbons are slightly different because they usually mean that no emissions occur at all.

How you can make difference between gross zero and net zero?

Given the impact of carbon emissions on the planet, you may be wondering why we are not aiming for zero or gross zero instead of net zero. Gross zero means stopping all emissions, but this is not realistically achievable in all aspects of our lives and industry. Even with the best efforts to reduce them, there are still some emissions. Net-zero makes it possible to look at emissions as a whole and eliminate all unavoidable emissions. From aviation or manufacturing. Greenhouse gas removal can come from nature, new technologies, or modified industrial processes, as trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

What does it mean to be net-zero?

Net-zero means balancing the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere with the greenhouse gases removed. Think of it like a bath-turn on the faucet, add more water, and pull out the stopper to let the water flow out. The amount of water in the bath depends on both the input from the faucet and the output from the drain. To keep the amount of water in the bath at the same level, it is necessary to balance the entrance and exit. Reaching net-zero applies the same principles. It needs to balance the number of greenhouse gases we emit with the amount we remove. If you add only what you remove, you reach net zero. This condition is also called climate neutral. However, zero emissions and zero carbons are slightly different because they usually mean that no emissions occur at all.

Why is net-zero important?

Net-zero is a condition in which greenhouse gases flowing into the atmosphere are offset by removal from the atmosphere. At least for CO2, the term net zero is important because this is where global warming stops. 

What is climate change?

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the 20 hottest years on record were in the past 22 years, and the four hottest years were all very recent: from 2015 to 2018. The average global temperature is now 1℃ higher than the previous time. One degree may not seem like much, but the reality is that this gradual warming seems to be having a negative effect. Furthermore, if recent trends continue, it is expected to worsen, with global temperatures predicted to rise to 35℃ by 2100. Despite a slight increase in global temperatures, we are feeling the effects of climate change and have the following unstable weather patterns: Floods and hurricanes; polar ice loss; and sea-level rise. This is only getting worse as global warming increases. 

What is causing climate change?

 It is widely recognized by scientists and governments that climate change is caused by higher amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Their name comes from the greenhouse effect they create by heating the Earth’s surface and the air above it. Carbon dioxide is the most abundant and dangerous of the greenhouse gases, so reducing carbon emissions, creating a carbon footprint, or finding proposed low-carbon alternatives are ways to combat the change. climate. 

How can we stop climate change?

Excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cause harmful global warming. Therefore, reducing the number of these gases will contribute to combating climate change. Stopping climate change can be done in two ways:

  • reduce the emissions we send into the atmosphere from activities such as industrial processes, power generation, transportation, and intensive agriculture 
  • remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, for example by capturing carbon produced in industrial processes before being released or by planting more trees. 

What is green energy?

Green energy comes from natural sources like the sun and wind.

What’s the difference between renewable energy and green energy?

Renewable energy comes from sources of continuous and natural self-renewal (hence the name), such as wind power and solar energy. Renewable energy is also commonly referred to as sustainable energy. Renewable energy sources as opposed to fossil fuels, such as coal and gas, are finite sources of energy. In addition, the burning of fossil fuels to release energy is a cause of climate change.

The terms “green energy” and “renewable energy” are often used interchangeably, but there is one key and the sometimes confusing difference between them. Although most green energy sources are also renewable, not all renewable energy sources are considered completely green. Take for example hydroelectricity. While hydroelectricity – the energy generated from fast-flowing water – is renewable, some argue that the process of generating large amounts of electricity from water is not green, given the associated industrialization and deforestation related to the construction of large hydroelectric dams.

What are the basic differences between green energy, clean energy, and renewable energy?

Clean energy is energy that, when used, does not pollute the atmosphere; produces little or no greenhouse gases. Again, there is a clear intersection between clean energy, green energy, and renewable

energy. Here’s a simple way to tell them apart: 

  • Clean energy = clean air
  • Green energy = source from nature
  • Renewable energy = renewable sources
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Anup Kumar Dey

I am a Mechanical Engineer turned into a Piping Engineer. Currently, I work in a reputed MNC as a Senior Piping Stress Engineer. I am very much passionate about blogging and always tried to do unique things. This website is my first venture into the world of blogging with the aim of connecting with other piping engineers around the world.

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