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Many people associate the greenhouse effect with global warming. In fact, there is so much confusion, that these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Thegreenhouse effect is naturally occurring on most planets, and it is necessary on Earth to maintain life as we know it.

Without the greenhouse effect, the temperature of the Earth might be as much as 30˚C cooler! That would alter the surface of the Earth significantly,covering much of it with ice. We need the greenhouse effect to survive on Earth.

However, there can be too much of a good thing. Human beings have begun adding a large amount of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, into ouratmosphere. This came mostly with the industrial revolution when we began to burn coal and gasoline, and now many other fossil fuels (such as propane,natural gases), and even wood, in great quantities. With this increase in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, there is more gas to absorb energy. With moreenergy being absorbed, the temperature of the atmosphere is beginning to increase, causing changes within our weather patterns, and other influences onthe ecosystems of the Earth. This is called climate change.

In the past few decades the population of the Earth has doubled to over six billion people. These six billion people foster a large increase in automobiletransportation; the major source of the increase in greenhouse gases. The greater population has also required more resources such as land. Large amountsof forest have been cut down. Trees are one of the most important organisms that actually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis.So not only are humans adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but they are also destroying trees that would otherwise be helping to absorb excesscarbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

We will not know the full impact of global warming until perhaps the middle of this century. This is because it takes so long for the full impact to be felt.You may remember that water vapour and carbon dioxide are a very small part of the makeup of our original atmosphere (see Module 5, Tutorial 1). So as we addcarbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels there is only a very small change in the makeup of our atmosphere. In fact it takes a long time for the atmosphereto mix in the added greenhouse gases fully. Scientists say that even if we halted the release of greenhouse gases today, the climate would continue towarm until about the year 2050 as the atmosphere reaches a new stable state.

The effect of humans on biodiversity

This section will summarize some of the impacts that human’s have had on the natural environment, focussing on our impact on the biotic (living)environment.


Destruction of biodiversity - hunting, pollution, destruction of the natural environment and introduction of alien species can result in the extinction of native species.

Introduction of alien invasive species: These are plants and animals that are NOT indigenous to a particular country. The plants and animals grow rapidly as they are alien and have no naturalpredators to feed on them.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
why and for what was five kingdom of classification of organisms introduced
give the ans as fast as possible
Comment on the ozone depletion over the period of 1982 to 1996
Mpho Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula: life sciences grade 10. OpenStax CNX. Apr 11, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11410/1.3
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