What is the Greenhouse Effect?

Greenhouse gases trigger the greenhouse effect.

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

An excess of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere retain the sun’s heat on Earth, causing overall global warming.


The Greenhouse Effect is a “hot button” issue and a term that is discussed everywhere from popular TV shows, to scientific journals.  Most of us talk about it without full understanding, because the science can be a bit confusing.  There are many mechanisms in play and the average layperson has difficulty fully grasping what is happening.  However, we all know one thing:  It’s not a good thing.

The easiest way to explain the Greenhouse Effect is that there is a rather delicate balance of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide, ozone and water vapor) in our planet’s atmosphere.  With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, that balance was upset.  In short, there is too much CO2 in our atmosphere and it has the potential to cause a lot of problems for our planet and, of course, us. The Greenhouse Effect takes it name from greenhouses which retain the sun’s heat to grow plants.  The mechanism by which the atmosphere retains heat is different, but the same is happening in our atmosphere.  The atmosphere is heating up and leading to what is called “global warming” (another term we hear everywhere.)

So what can the average person do to change this?  The bottom line is that one person doing something in a totally isolated manner, will NOT change the effects that these greenhouse gases are having.  However, if everyone makes small changes and takes small steps, change can be made.  How?  Carbon accounting and carbon offsetting are terms that describe calculating the company’s CO2 emissions and the attempt to offset those negative effects.  Moreover, carbon neutrality is the goal.  The idea is to get that carbon usage to an average of 0 by offsetting carbon emissions with practices such as planting trees. If you are a business owner, you may wish to hire a consultant or buy software to help with these practices.

Photo by kayleigh harrington on Unsplash

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