Submit a question to our community and get an answer from real people.
Submit
All  >  Science

How do greenhouse gases cause global warming

Report as

I really feel sorry for the people that flap their mouths repeating the stuff they hear on "Faux News" thinking that they actually gain knowledge..

There are a lot of things that "greenhouse gasses" do... the name should give you a pretty good idea of what that is. If you go into a greenhouse, the temperature is much higher than the outside temperature.. The glass roof lets in sunlight and infrared, yet tends to contain the heat that comes from that from escaping back to outside. Greenhouse gases do the same thing, acting as the "window" to space, allowing heat in, but not as much out. This raises the overall average temperature of the surface of the earth. While there are many sources of these gases, the primary gas is CO2. The burning of fossil fuels, the elimination of forests, the industrial activity all serve to raise the level of CO2, which in turn raises the average temperature of the surface of the earth. The results of this warming trend are various, and not the topic of this question.

Helpful (3) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (1)
Report as
Note: There were a couple of pretty good answers, so my initial comment was not meant to be universal.
Report as
Add a comment...

Greenhouse gasses don't cause global warming. There are natural greenhouse gases on our earth . Carbon dioxide is one of the gasses and when there are is too much co2 created by humans it heats the earth . This heat warms the earths overall temperatures.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (1)
Report as
You should really only answer questions you know the answer to.
Report as
Add a comment...

Supposedly they prevent heat from leaving the atmosphere. However, we don't really know, and people only theorize on why the earth is warming. Many even theorize that the temperature of the earth is cyclical and not permanently warming at all.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (10)
Report as
Actually, we do know that greenhouse gasses trap heat in the atmosphere. If they didn't, earth would be a cold barren rock and nothing more.
Report as
We know that heat gets trapped in the atmosphere yes, and some atmospheric gasses could be called greenhouse gasses, yes. However, we do not have a way to test if an increase in pollution causes heat to be trapped. And when most people say greenhouse gasses, that's what they mean.
Report as
I know it is popular to deny climate change, but if you live on the coast of NJ or LA, you will find a lot less skepticism. The navy towns in Maryland, VA, and the Carolinas also are scrambling to get government assistance to deal with rising sea levels and storm surges. The Gulf Coast current is slowing down due to the ocean warming, and water levels are piling up on the Mid Atlantic US shore 7 to 10 times the average level increase in the open ocean. The weather in the UK is getting colder and dryer for the same reason, the Gulf current is providing much less warm water.
Report as
I never denied climate change. I merely stated that many theorize it is cyclical (meaning it will return to normal). Personally, I'm more leaning towards it being permanent, but being a natural inevitability.
Report as
@Lersion, it is cyclical, but who knows what is "normal" as it has changed dramatically in the last several million years. The issue today is the speed at which it is changing, causing migration and elimination of species, and dramatic changes in sea levels in coastal areas. Farming belts will move north substantially here in the US, and we could even have a glacial period in Northern Europe and the UK. Some low lying island countries will disappear.
Report as
It is cyclical, but the greenhouse effect speeds this natural cycle up. The wind is also natural, but when it speeds up it can cause damage. Just because something is natural in nature, doesn't mean it can't become harmful.
Report as
Well of course. I never said otherwise. It's just that it bugs me when people say that it's caused by pollution so that they can make some extra money.
Report as
Greenhouse gases are a 3rd grade concept
Report as
@Lersion, the speed at which the changing is occuring is largely because of the dramatic consumption of fossil fuels, and the creating of heat, and of the huge number of farm animals being raised for the human population. CO2 has been defined by the FDA as a pollution, and it's not to "make money" but to keep our civilization alive and functioning in this period of dramatic change.
Report as
The polluters are the ones making the money, that's why they deny that pollution speeds up the natural warming process.
Report as
Add a comment...

The simple answer is that greenhouse gasses hold the heat produced by the sun in our atmosphere longer than otherwise would occur if the greenhouse gasses were not present in the atmosphere in such high amounts. Less greenhouse gasses, less retention of heat. Obviously some heat retention is good. Life could not flourish on earth without adequate heat. Earth will continue to exist if warming continues. Life will continue to exist, up to a certain point, too. The problem is that human life may not continue to exist or, at the very least and this is happening now, the quality of human life will suffer as the heat continues to rise.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

The heat of the sunlight is way too much to sustain life and the dark space is too cold. The atmosphere of the Earth creates a shelter in between so the Earth can sustain a average temperature over the crust. The gas molecules that makes the atmosphere emits the radiation from sunlight and heats up during daytime. These gases that interfere with sunlight are called Greenhouse gases. in order for Earth to keep the ideal temperature part of the energy comes with the sunlight has to be reflected back into the space otherwise it would be too hot. The atmosphere has to be in a good balance in terms of the density of Greenhouse gases in order to achieve that.
If the density of Greenhouse gases become too much, the sunlight that normally reflected back by the gases and off the surface of the Earth, couldn't reach outside the atmosphere enough and more energy would get trapped within, which would increase the temperature. Which is called Global Warming.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...
Kduchessofmalminster

Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases (hydrofluorocarbons) all get trapped in our atmosphere which keeps our planet hotter, which can kill the reefs, melt the polar ice caps and melt the glaciers and icebergs.As well as a multitude of other problems . For more reading : http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/ozone-hole-and-gw-faq.html

Helpful (1) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...
IGoByJessie

They really dont. Scientist are trying to scare people. They are simply saying this because some places on Earth are experiencing warmer temperatures. But really our "warmer" temperatures are lower than they were in the Middle Ages. Hope this helps!! God bless :)

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (1)
Report as
Just curious - what do you think would motivate scientists to want to scare people?
Report as
Add a comment...

They are transparent to visible light, but absorb and re radiate infrared. This causes heat that would escape into space to stay in the atmosphere longer.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

They act as shields and prevent heat from the sun from radiating back into space, trapping warmth in the atmosphere.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

green house absorb light from sun and at night time they released the gases back to earth.which causes global warming.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...
Do you have an answer?
Answer this question...
Did you mean?
Login or Join the Community to answer
Popular Searches