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An Overview of Greenhouse Gases; Why Are They Harmful

Written by Cove Johnson Rabidoux


Greenhouse gases are constantly on the news and in climate reports, but why? What are greenhouse gases and why are they harmful? 


Greenhouse gases (also called GHGs) are gases that trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere. These gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor, act like a blanket, trapping the sun's heat and preventing it from escaping back into space. This natural process is essential for keeping the Earth's temperature at a habitable and healthy level. This means that at their core, greenhouse gases are beneficial and help maintain the Earth's temperature. However, an excess of these gases can lead to a phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect, where the Earth's temperature rises beyond what is considered normal. This increase in temperature can have detrimental effects on the environment and all living beings.


Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation, have significantly increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, leading to an increase in the Earth's temperature. 

The increase in greenhouse gases is causing the Earth's temperature to rise at an alarming rate, leading to global warming. This temperature rise has various harmful effects on the environment, including melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and changes in precipitation patterns. Plus, an increased amount of greenhouse gases can lead to the extinction of important species, disruption of food production, and an increase in the spread of diseases. 



Therefore, it is crucial that we try to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to reduce the harmful effects of climate change. This can be done through a lot of various actions such as using renewable energy sources, like solar panels, and promoting energy efficiency. Some steps you can take at home to alleviate the amount of greenhouse gases are: 


  1. Put in solar panels.

  2. Turn your thermostat down.

  3. Walk, scooter, or use public transport.

  4. Install solar lights.

  5. Do laundry in cold water.


In conclusion, greenhouse gases are harmful because they contribute to the greenhouse effect, causing our planet’s temperature to rise and leading to various negative impacts on the environment and humankind. It is essential that you try to take action to reduce your emissions and address the issue of climate change.

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