Greenhouse Effect & Gases
Greenhouse gas = any gas that has a greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse Effect = A natural process that occurs all the time, keeping average global temperatures at around 17˚C. Result of the heat and light from the sun reaching our planet. Some solar radiation reflected back into space, some is absorbed by the atmosphere and some reaches the Earth's surface. Some of the radiation that reaches the Earth's surface is reflected back as heat out to space. However some is reflected back to Earth by clouds and the greenhouse gases that form the atmosphere. These gases trap heat close to the Earth's Surface keeping it warm.
Carbon Dioxide = most important greenhpuse gas (remains in the atm for a long time)
Methane = produced when microorganisms break down the organic molecules from which organisms are made. Ocurrs when:
> Decomposers break down dead remains of organisms
> Microorganisms in the intestines of primary consumers digest the food that has been eaten.