What are the causes of the greenhouse effect

In the atmosphere surrounding the earth, there are various gaseous substances that have an effect on the incoming sunlight. These gases include carbon dioxide or CO2, Water vapor and methane. Carbon dioxide is released naturally in forest fires, the exhalation of humans and animals, volcanic eruptions and the decomposition of plant material. It gets into the atmosphere, remains there for about a hundred years and is gradually broken down again by the metabolism of the plants, the so-called photosynthesis. Methane is also produced as a by-product of the decomposition of organic material by bacteria and rises from forests and bodies of water as well as from moors and swamps. Water vapor, another important natural greenhouse gas, is released by the water cycle and also accumulates in the earth's atmosphere. These gases are responsible for the fact that part of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun is not reflected on earth, but is retained in the atmosphere. These long-wave rays heat the earth and cause the mean temperature to be around 18 degrees Celsius. This process can be compared to the warming of a glass house, which earned it the name of the greenhouse effect.

If there were no natural greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, temperatures of up to minus 18 degrees would prevail on earth and colonization by humans, animals and plants would be completely impossible. The natural or atmospheric greenhouse effect therefore acts like a temperature regulator that offers ideal living conditions for flora and fauna.