General

Difference Between Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming

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Main Difference

The main difference between Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming is that the Greenhouse effect is a natural method of trapping the heat by the atmosphere to make life possible on earth, whereas Global Warming is the side effect of the greenhouse effect in which unnecessary heat is being trapped due to human industrial activities.

Greenhouse Effect vs. Global Warming

The process of heat retention by the atmosphere or the earth due to greenhouse gases is known as the greenhouse effect. The average increase in annual temperatures across the globe is called global warming. The greenhouse effect is a natural method of trapping the heat by the atmosphere to make life possible on earth. Global warming is the side effect of the greenhouse effect in which unnecessary heat is being stuck due to human industrial activities.

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The greenhouse is beneficial for the earth’s atmosphere and life on earth. Global warming is harmful to the planet and life on it. The greenhouse effect keeps the temperature moderate and makes the planet earth suitable for the survival of living beings. Global warming makes the planet hotter and making it challenging to fr many species to survive.

The greenhouse effect does not disturb the ecosystem; instead, it favors it. Global warming disrupts the ecosystem, and many species become extinct due to this. The greenhouse effect refers to a constant natural process, including sunlight and the atmosphere. Global warming directs a change in the climate of the earth that is not only causing it to heat up but also bringing substantial climate changes.

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Comparison Chart

Greenhouse EffectGlobal Warming
A natural method of trapping the heat by the atmosphere to make life possible on earth, known as the greenhouse effectThe side effect of the greenhouse effect in which unnecessary heat is being stuck due to human industrial activities, known as global warming
Effect on Ecosystem
Favors the ecosystemDisturbs the ecosystem
Result
Produces the survival heat on earthMelt ice causing flood and droughts
Kind of Process
PositiveNegative
Effects
BeneficialHarmful
Survival of Species
Becomes difficultBecomes easy

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

The ability of the earth to retain the heat is named as the Greenhouse effect. The heat and light emitted by the sun is trapped in some amount by the earth’s atmosphere. When the rays from the sun rays reach the earth, about two-thirds of the thermal energy is absorbed by its surface. In return, the earth emits this thermal energy towards the atmosphere. The atmosphere absorbs it and radiates the heat back towards the ground. The surface absorbs the heat again, and the process continues. This is known as the greenhouse effect. It keeps the planet warm and works as a coat.

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The presence of greenhouse gases absorbs this heat and light. The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The greenhouse effect makes life possible on planet earth. In the process of the greenhouse effect, the light is absorbed by the earth’s surface and oceans, later transformed into heat and then re-radiated in the form of infrared radiation. Some specific portions of the earth’s atmosphere absorb the heat and, once again, re-radiate this around. This heat absorption and radiation process retains the heat in the earth’s atmosphere, and reduce the amount of heat going back into space.

A natural and healthy greenhouse effect helps in keeping the temperature moderate by making the planet warm enough to sustain life. But the greenhouse effect is magnified by the emission of greenhouse gases due to the industrial activities of humans leading to global warming.

What is Global Warming?

Global warming refers to the state of increase in annual average temperatures across the globe. It rises with an increase in the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As a result, the earth becomes warmer and warmer on average. The cause of global warming is when carbon dioxide gets mixed with air pollutants and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They absorb the sunlight and solar radiation coming back from the earth’s surface. These infrared radiations escape into space, but the pollutants in the atmosphere trap them. As a result, the globe becomes hotter. From the past 50 years, the average temperature of the planet earth raised to the highest rates in history, and this is increasing day by day.

Global warming was mainly observed with the start of the industrial revolution. Greenhouse gases are emitted by the burning of fossil fuels, which flows to the atmosphere. Global warming has many negative impacts on the environment as well as the ecosystem. It results in an ecological change that leads to the extinction of many species due to the change in ecosystems. Some of the animal species that are affected by global warming are caribou, walleye and yellow perch, penguins, polar bears, frogs, and alpine butterflies. Global warming can be the cause of coastal flooding and droughts because it melts ice caps, which raises the sea levels resulting in floods.

Measures to Minimize Global Warming

  • Decreasing carbon footprints
  • Replacing the incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Lesser use of vehicles
  • Recycling and using recycled products
  • Installing alternative energy sources, e.g., solar paneling

Key Differences

  1. The greenhouse effect is a natural method of trapping the heat by the atmosphere to make life possible on earth; on the other hand, global warming is the side effect of the greenhouse effect in which unnecessary heat is being trapped due to human industrial activities.
  2. The greenhouse effect keeps the temperature moderate; on the contrary, global warming makes the planet hotter.
  3. The greenhouse is beneficial for the earth’s atmosphere, and the life on earth; on the flip side, global warming is harmful to the planet and the life on it.
  4. The greenhouse effect makes the planet earth suitable for the survival of living beings. On the contrary, global warming makes the survival of many living species difficult.
  5. The process of heat retention by the atmosphere or the earth due to greenhouse gases is known as the greenhouse effect; on the other side, the average increase in the annual temperatures across the globe is called global warming.
  6. The greenhouse effect refers to a natural process including sunlight and the atmosphere that is continuously happening; on the other hand, the global warming directs a change in the climate of the earth that is not only causing it to heat up but also bringing substantial climate changes.
  7. The greenhouse effect does not disturb the ecosystem; on the converse, global warming disrupts the ecosystem.

Comparison Video

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Conclusion

Greenhouse effect and global warming are the two distinct but linked phenomena that occur in nature. Both are very important, but the greenhouse effect is a beneficial process, and global warming is a harmful process for our planet earth.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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