Sociology Index

GREENHOUSE EFFECT - Sociology of Environment

Greenhouse Effect is a term from environmental science referring to an increase in the average temperature of the earth brought about by the effects of atmospheric pollution. Pollutants are suspended in the lower atmosphere above the earth and retard the loss of heat resulting in global warming.

Environment activists have been highlighting the negative impact of Greenhouse Effect on the environment. The scientists and the politicians are now beginning to understand and estimate the calamitous effects of the Greenhouse Effect. Greenhouse Effect is termed so because greenhouse is a transparent glass or plastic building for rearing or hastening the growth of plants.

Greenhouse effect is the heating of the surface and lower atmosphere of a planet due to the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun than to infrared radiation from the planet; greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide or another gas contributing to the greenhouse effect.

History of the greenhouse effect - M.D.H. Jones, A. Henderson-Sellers

The greenhouse effect is now commonly accepted. However, the misnomer 'greenhouse effect' has perpetuated, and there are a number of aspects of the effect which are poorly understood outside the atmospheric sciences. On such misconception is that greenhouse research is a recent phenomenon; another is that glasshouses are warmed by the same mechanism as lies at the heart of the greenhouse effect.

Evolution of Earth's Greenhouse Effect - Kiehl, J. T.
American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2003
The major factors contributing to Earth's greenhouse effect are discussed along with various quantitative methods for determining the greenhouse effect. Earth's greenhouse effect has evolved over geologic time scales and continues to evolve. The magnitude of Earth's greenhouse effect is explored for particular time periods of Earth's evolution from the Neoproterozoic to present. Coupled climate model simulations for these various time periods are used to estimate the magnitude of the greenhouse effect. A comparison is made between the present greenhouse effect and those of past times. The connection between the greenhouse effect and Earth's hydrologic cycle is also discussed. Finally, a comparison is made of between past greenhouse effects and that predicted for the end of the twenty-first century.

Greenhouse effect dependence on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse substances and the nature of climate stability on Earth - V. G. Gorshkov and A. M. Makarieva
Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, 188300, Gatchina, St.-Petersburg, Russia
Due to the exponential positive feedback between sea surface temperature and saturated water vapour concentration, dependence of the planetary greenhouse effect on atmospheric water content is critical for stability of a climate with extensive liquid hydrosphere.
In this paper on the basis of the law of energy conservation we develop a simple physically transparent approach to description of radiative transfer in an atmosphere containing greenhouse substances. It is shown that the analytical solution of the equation thus derived coincides with the exact solution of the well-known radiative transfer equation to the accuracy of 20% for all values of atmospheric optical depth. The observed stability of modern climate over geological timescales is therefore likely to be due to dynamic singularities in the physical temperature-dependent behaviour of the greenhouse effect.

Global Sea Level Rise and the Greenhouse Effect: Might They Be Connected?
Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A7.
Secular sea level trends extracted from tide gauge records of appropriately long duration demonstrate that global sea level may be rising at a rate in excess of 1 millimeter per year. However, because global coverage of the oceans by the tide gauge network is highly nonuniform and the tide gauge data reveal considerable spatial variability, there has been a well-founded reluctance to interpret the observed secular sea level rise as representing a signal of global scale that might be related to the greenhouse effect.

The Greenhouse Effect: Science and Policy
Stephen H. Schneider, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Global warming from the increase in greenhouse gases has become a major scientific and political issue during the past decade. That infrared radiation is trapped by greenhouse gases and particles in a planetary atmosphere and that the atmospheric CO2 level has increased by some 25 percent since 1850 because of fossil fuel combustion and land use (largely deforestation) are not controversial; levels of other trace greenhouse gases such as methane and chlorofluorocarbons have increased by even larger factors. Results from most recent climatic models suggest that global average surface temperatures will increase by some 2� to 6�C during the next century, but future changes in greenhouse gas concentrations and feedback processes not properly accounted for in the models could produce greater or smaller increases. One approach is to implement those policies now that will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and have additional societal benefits.

The greenhouse effect and climate change - F W Taylor, Dept. of Phys., Oxford Univ., UK
Abstract. On any planet with an atmosphere, the surface is warmed not only by the Sun directly but also by downward-propagating infrared radiation emitted by the atmosphere. This phenomenon, known as the greenhouse effect, keeps the mean surface temperature some 33 K warmer than it would otherwise be and is therefore essential to life. The radiative processes which are responsible for the greenhouse effect involve mainly minor atmospheric constituents, the amounts of which can change either naturally or as a by-product of human activities. The growth of the latter is definitely tending to force a general global surface warming, although because of problems in modelling complicated feedback processes, for example those involving water vapour, ozone, clouds, and the oceans, the precise rates of change and the local patterns which should be expected are not yet very well known. The author reviews the physical processes involved in the greenhouse effect and discusses current progress, theoretical and experimental, towards an understanding of the greenhouse effect on the climate.

Experimental short film about greenhouse effect: EFECTO INVERNADERO (greenhouse effect) by Andres Victorero -

Geological Assessment of the Greenhouse Effect
Thomas J. Crowley, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
ABSTRACT: Geologic studies provide a valuable perspective on the importance of greenhouse forcing for climate change. On both Pleistocene and tectonic time scales, changes in climate are positively correlated with greenhouse gas variations.

Knowledge about the Greenhouse Effect and the Effects of the Ozone Layer among Norwegian Pupils Finishing Compulsory Education in 1989, 1993, and 2005, What Now?
P. J. Kirkeby Hansen, Oslo University College, Norway
Abstract: The greenhouse effect and the effects of the ozone layer have been in the media and public focus for more than two decades. During the same period, Norwegian compulsory schools have had four national curricula. The two last-mentioned prescribe explicitly the two topics. Media and public discourse might have been sources of information causing informal learning among pupils. The point of departure for this questionnaire-based examination of the development of pupils' knowledge about the greenhouse effect and the effects of the ozone layer from 1989 to 2005 is the changing curricula and formal and informal learning. In 2005 the trends seem to be that more pupils confuse the greenhouse effect with the effects of the ozone layer. At the same time, specific knowledge about the greenhouse effect is improving.