The Greenhouse Effect is the process of the Sun's energy being absorbed by the Earth. The Earth releases heat back into the air once the planet cools, but some of the heat is trapped by Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This effect keeps our planet warm. However, it can be detrimental as shown by climate change and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere today (388 ppm) compared to 1750 (280 ppm).
The top 3 greenhouse gases are CH4 (Methane), CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), and H2O (water vapor).
These 3 top Greenhouse Gases are Greenhouse Gases because they trap heat in the atmosphere. When infrared light hits these Gases, they reflect back to Earth, which makes the planet even warmer.
Greenhouse Effect Explained
Solar energy is absorbed by Earths surface. After that, it is sent back into the atmosphere as heat. As it makes it way back out to space, greenhouse gases absorb most of the heat, in turn keeping the Earth warm. Without the Greenhouse Effect, the Earth's temperature would be below freezing. The effect is only getting stronger because more greenhouse gases are being added to the atmosphere. This is only going to make the Earth hotter.
In the feedback system: Melting of Sea Ice -> Warmer ocean water, sea ice is melting because of hot temperatures. This leads to warner ocean water, because the sun is now hitting the water directly, warming it up because the water is absorbing it. This then leads to more sea ice melting. This affects the climate because the temperature is increasing. Research shows that temperature in the arctic has increased twice the rate as the rest of the globe, and that the region is supposed to increase an additional 14 degree Fahrenheit. This feedback cycle has something to do with that. Studies also show arctic ice has decreased about 12% each decade(Arctic Sea Ice Decline, pg.1).
This feedback cycle is POSITIVE because the melting of sea ice is amplifying and the warmer ocean water is also amplifying. Both things are increasing.
Works Cited Page
"Arctic Sea Ice Decline." Climate Change Impact on Sea Ice Decline | Weather Underground. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
"The Greenhouse Effect." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
"The Greenhouse Effect." The Greenhouse Effect | UCAR Center for Science Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
"The Greenhouse Effect." PhET. N.p., 22 Feb. 2016. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.
"What Is the Greenhouse Effect?" NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.