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The Greenhouse Effect

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Sullivan Hollands                Year 10 Geography

The Greenhouse Effect

About half of the Sun's energy is absorbed into the Earth's surface. The rest is either reflected back into space by the atmosphere or absorbed by dust and gas particles. The solar energy that does reach the Earth's surface heats the land and oceans. Successively, the land and oceans release heat in the form of infrared radiation. Carbon dioxide and methane have the ability to absorb some of the infrared radiation leading to warming of the lower atmosphere. Heat trapping gases similar to these are known as greenhouse gases. This absorption of heat, which keeps the surface of our planet warm enough to sustain us, is called the greenhouse effect.

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    Small island states such as the Maldives, are already experiencing similar effects due to coral depletion which has a staggering effect on the food-chain and tourism.  

    The global average sea level has increased by 10 to 25 centimetres over the last 100 years. Sea levels are expected to rise by 15 to 29 centimetres by 2100. These rising levels are caused by partial melting of mountain glaciers, ice caps and the expansion of sea water as it heats up. One major concern about this effect is the impact it could cause on small islands. The Pacific, for example is made up of thousands of small islands. If the sea levels continue rising, hundreds of islands may disappear.

    There are a number

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  The Kyoto Protocol is now the key platform for the international community's response to climate change. It set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions of participating nations.

Carbon Credits: 907kg groups of carbon which are stored in vegetation or in the soil. Each carbon credit represents the removal of 3628kg of carbon dioxide from the air.


<The Greenhouse Effect>        Date: 17/2/03http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming/kids/greenhouse.html

<Greenhouse Effect & Enhanced Greenhouse Effect >                Date: 18/2/03


<What is the Greenhouse Effect? >        Date: 17/2/03


<About the Greenhouse Effect>        Date: 16/2/03


<Environment Victoria>



<SOSE 4> firstpublished 1999: Jacaranda Wildley Ltd.

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