Did you know that gases in our atmosphere help control the Earth’s temperature? “Greenhouse gases” like carbon dioxide trap heat in the atmosphere and keep the Earth warm. This is called the “greenhouse effect.” It all starts with sunlight, which is a form of energy. Land and water absorb most of the sunlight that reaches the Earth. The rest is reflected back to space. The Earth’s surface warms up, and then gives off energy in a different form, called infrared radiation. This energy travels back towards outer space. Greenhouse gases trap some of this energy in the atmosphere before it can escape, making the Earth warmer. We need some greenhouse gases. Without them, our planet would be too cold for plants and animals to live. But people are adding extra carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Whenever we drive a car, use electricity, or make a product in a factory, we use energy. A lot of this energy comes from burning fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal, which produces carbon dioxide. How do you think extra greenhouse gases affect the amount of heat trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere? You guessed it! Extra greenhouse gases trap more heat, which makes the whole planet warmer.
And warmer temperatures lead to effects like changing rain and snow patterns, rising sea level, melting glaciers and ice sheets, and much more. It’s a big problem, and it’s all happening because we’re overloading the atmosphere with greenhouse gases. By making the greenhouse effect stronger, we’re upsetting the Earth’s natural balance and warming our planet..