The reality that we are witnessing, and being part, of is a very delicate and balanced system that supports life on earth. This balanced system must be understood to realize its value and in extend to take care of.
The sun is a very hot and violent place. Many chemical processes are happening at the same time go keep its ‘engine’ going. The sun sends out a whole ray of radiation in all the different wave-lengths or frequencies we can see and feel. We can see all the different colors brightening up our day and we feel the infrared warming our bodies. The sun also is sending many radiations that is harmful to life. Too much of it will make the planet inhabitant.
Standing on the North Pole then travelingto the South Pole in a straight line through the center of the earth is about 8,000 miles. However, it takes only 100 miles straight up from the earth’s surface to outer space. This relatively tiny layer, which makes 1.57% of the earth’s radius, our atmosphere, is so vital for our existence. Without this atmosphere all the violent radiation of the sun would make the planet unlivable. It blocks, diverts, minimizes the negative effects of the sun.
The composition of the atmospheric gasses, or air, is like this:
– 78% nitrogen
– 21% oxygen
– 0.93% argon
– 0.039% carbon dioxide (CO2)
– And a very small amount of other gasses like Ozone.
Water vapor is about 1% added to the composition of air. This 1% condenses in the rain we have all around the world.
To maintain the earth’s global average temperature on 57.2 F, and therewith support or make life possible, the atmosphere functions as a greenhouse. There are gasses in the air that keeps the heat of the sun trapped in this 100 miles atmosphere. Water vapor, CO2, methane and Ozone are responsible for doing so. Note that this very good and that life can’t be without it. Also note that the gasses that makes this greenhouse effect possible are only a tiny part compared with the other gasses that is in the air.
Because this atmosphere is so thin, while it looks so big to us, and we take it for granted it is here and will be there in times to come we are changing its chemical composition by adding many ‘greenhouse gasses’, and therewith changing ‘greenhouse effect’ negatively.
As the CO2 level only is a very small part of all the air we breathe it is very easy to add more of it in the atmosphere. It is CO2 that contribute most of the gasses in strengthening the greenhouse effect as this gas traps most heat in the atmosphere, thus, gradually warming up the earth. The burning of fossil fuels, coal, oil, and gas, plays a major, but not only, role in changing the atmospheric composition.
Humans are responsible for this change and we start feeling the consequences of it. As long as we are adding more CO2 in the air, don’t offset it by planting trees, we keep on changing the greenhouse effect and keep on contributing to Global Warming and Climate Change. Ultimately, unless something seriously changes, we will be responsible of altering living conditions for us humans, plants and animals. We distort the balanced greenhouse effect nature created to sustain life and it is up to us to act and reverse it.