Friday, August 1, 2008

what exactly is the greenhouse effect?

Reference from

What is GHE (Green House Effect)GHE is a way of describing what happens in a greenhouse, covered in glass.

The glass is transparent to sunlight, so the light waves cross the glass, and reach the objects inside, ie plants, soil, pots, etc…When any of these bodies is touched by light, it reflects some of it, and absorbs some of it.The absorbed light is converted to heat, and the body warms up.As the body warms up, it radiates more energy in the infrared.And now to the important fact that ties it all together : Glass in not transparent to infrared radiation. So, when the plants, pots, and soil in the greenhouse radiate in the infrared, this wavelength cannot exit back out of the greenhouse. The glass reflects it back inside. So the energy is trapped in the greenhouse, and it warms up until the energy balance is re-established. Therefore, a glass greenhouse is an energy trap.

Why is it importantThe GHE is essential for the survival of animals and plants on Earth.
Without GHE the Earth would be too cold, and become an ice planet.With too much GHE the Earth will warm up even more, causing catastrophic changes to the weather, the oceans, forests, etc…Life on Earth exists on a fine balance of GHE, that is, a fine balance of energy input and output.
The main energy input is the amount of light that the earth absorbs from the sun, ie the energy that enters the atmosphere, minus the energy that is reflected back out to space. Another energy input, is the considerable amount of energy that is released by human activity on earth by burning fuels, mainly for transport and electricity.

The end result of most energy use is the release of heat to the air or to the water.The energy output, is the amount of infrared radiation that the earth looses to space.Some gases in the earth’s atmosphere behave like the glass in a greenhouse. They are not transparent to the infrared radiation, and reflect the infrared back to the earth.These are called the GH gases, and their amount in the atmosphere is of extreme importance to the climate regulation on Earth. More on this later.
you should google it for yourself and watch the David Attenborough video below.
Learn as much as you can!

Climate change and you is the name of this blog.

Help heal the planet!
first Measure yourself. - how much carbon do you create? -your carbon footprint.
Second. think about how to reduce your footprint.
goto and click on be your own carbon cop.
also go to There are heaps of free info there.
if you go to http://countrykitchengarden.blogspot/. you will see how to take action.
meanwhile, think about your world. What will it be like if this pollution continues?
ARE we all using up too much of the world's resources? and what can we do.
Each of us can do a little, together, we will do a lot.
here is part of what we have compiled for you

How to reduce your Climate Costs
(Carbon emissions & impact.)
Switch off electricity / gas (energy) whenever possible. Switch off at wall when not in use, at night, while at work.
Reduce what you use.
Change to energy efficient light globes, energy efficient machines: washing machines, refrigerators, tv's, cars etc.
Use the car less. Reduce petrol use. inflate your tyres. maintain the vehicle in top condition. Repair oil leaks. Use BioDiesel. go to : How to make BioDiesel at home. google this .Click Here!
Reduce water use.
Reduce energy use and waste in all aspects of your life.

WALK WHERE YOU CAN! it's great exercise.
What to do at Home - Exterior Shade the exterior windows which face the sun in summer TO REDUCE COOLING COSTS. (a deciduous vine is best or cover the window with shade cloth halfway down. Roll up blinds are good, as are shutters.) Glass windows exposed to the sun cause extreme heat inside. It is amazing how much you can also reduce energy costs (BOTH heat and cooling costs) by installing insulation in the roof and walls.
You want the sun to come inside in the winter to reduce heating and lighting costs, but you don't want the sun in summer. A verandah or patio is a great solution.

TO REDUCE HEATING COSTS - You can create a heat bank - a brick wall - (even a black wood wall) which will absorb heat and reflect it inside.(But no good in the summer). You can also install mirours outside to reflect heat and light inside, and remove them in the hottest months.
Have a clothesline, or foldaway rack, near the back door or under the patio or verandah or even on a balcony. If you have a pool use only biodegradable products and reduce the use of the pool heater.

Dry your pool and bath towels when used. Hang them up on a pool towel rack. Recycle water where possible in the garden and design your garden to be water wise and energy efficient. collect the water from your roof in plastic pipes, and channel the water via hoses to water your plants. (you need trees and ground cover to convert carbon to oxygen!)
Sign up for renewable electricity- Green power.

What to do at Home -Interior - In the Kitchen:Reduce oven use or cook several items at once. Turn off lights, Fans, heaters. Put in thermostats or use auto cut off switches. Wear an apron to reduce soiling clothes and re-washing. Re-dry hand towels for re-use. Avoid using kitchen paper because paper products are not climate friendly. Use cloth towels which can be re-used, then re-use in the garden.Keep the freezer defrosted regularly. Use only bio degradable detergent and buy bio degradable freezer bags, Re-use recycled carry bags. Clarify your fat from chicken etc. or place it on the garden NOT down the drain. Hand wash small number of dishes. Use dishwasher only when full.

Use reusable crockery,cups and glasses.Not paper cups or plates. Avoid throwaway or disposable utensils. Re-use paper and plastic to re-wrap rubbish. Re-use paper in garden as mulch. (it keeps down weeds- cover with grass clippings to create compost (soil) and feeds the normal garden worms.- ) Put food scraps in a compost bin or buy a worm farm to recycle your food waste. The worm waste is used in the garden or in pot plants as mulch. Buy locally produced meats and produce. "Sounds like a good idea, but you don't know where to start? Just type in your zip code on Local Harvest's website (or in Australia go to yahoo and look for organic food suppliers.) to see a list of farms and farmers' markets close to home, as well as nearby restaurants committed to supporting their neighbors. Buying locally produced food cuts out the middlemen and the vast amounts of energy required to get your products onto store shelves. Most produce in U.S. supermarkets travels an average 1,500 miles before it is sold! Evaluate your food choices carefully"ref Example Seafood: "Choose your seafood wisely. We can't afford to wait until 2008. The world's seafood will be entirely depleted by 2048, according to an early November report in the journal Science. That means the moment to shape up is now. By buying and eating certain types of seafood, you can discourage harmful fishing practices and avoid the more depleted or threatened species. Take a look at Seafood Choices Alliance or Seafood Watch to make smart choices." ref You should reduce meat consumption because meat production uses more energy than other food production.
Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.

In the Laundry: Only wash clothes when there is a full load, and then ONLY in cold water. Wash and rinse in cold water. (If everyone in the United States alone switched to cold water with their washing machines, we could save about 30 million tons of carbon dioxide each year -- and more than $3 billion in energy costs, collectively. And what's more? Cold water cleans your laundry just as well as hot water. (ref Reuse towels. If they are hung to dry, they can be used again. Put up lines for drying in the room and outside. Avoid using a clothes drier. Hang your clothes up in the sun. Use biodegradable non phosphate washing powder. Re- use the grey water on the garden. Re- use the storm water from the roof to a tank and use tank water for washing clothes and car and patio or pathways. You can get more use from your clothing and household linen if you buy use an organic stain remover, and if you mend small tears and pulls. Try to buy retro or vintage clothing and avoid being a slave to the marketing of brand names. Donate to an underdeveloped country instead.

In the Bathroom: Always hang towels on a rail to dry. Use only bio degradeable shampoos and conditioners.Turn off lights/fan when leaving room. Reduce water use with efficient shower head and tap heads. Use block soap instead of liquid soap. Reduce use of sprays - hairspray affects the ozone layer. Minimise use of fly sprays or any spray cans, for the same reason. Minimise use of the hairdryer/curling wand/ straightening wand. The heat will damage your hair. Use organic products on your hair.

In the Lounge or family room. Turn off TV or other equipment when not in use. Do not leave on standby. disconnect. Allow more natural light into the room. Turn off heater when room is warm. if using a fireplace keep the chimney or flue clean. Put the ashes on to the compost or mix directly onto the garden. If using air conditioning keep the filters clean for increased efficiency and to avoid asthma and legionairs disease. Wear more clothes to keep warm. Keep lounge throws (wraps) handy and watch TV in wrapped up cosy comfort.

Outdoors and at Play.
Think carefully about your Play activities. Do these activities create carbon impacts? eg: Restaurants- fast food - excess packaging. Plan your trip. LIMIT your air flights and travel distances where possible. Use public transport. Take your rubbish with you or if in the bush, bury it. Limit fire use. If necessary light only small fires.Always leave a site CLEANER than you found it, pick up rubbish if necessary. Avoid using any spray cans or any products injurious to wild life. Do not leave plastic bags behind. They could cause harm to Animals especially to birds.

What you can do at work.Try to minimise car use. Car pool where possible. Walk to work or move so you live closer.You will save both time and money Try to work from home at least one day a week. Consider riding a bike.When at work, minimise energy use where you can, and limit your water use as you would at home. Try to reduce lighting by 25%. Turn off lights especially if you are last to leave. When printing your documents, configure the printer to print double sided and print on grey scale where possible. Re-use waste paper and print on the back whenever you are just printing a draft. Avoid printing wherever possible. Make sure your workplace recycles paper waste to charity recycling businesses- not just into the council recycle bin.

Add moreYourself! Jot down your ideas for reducing your footprint.