Scientists measure how plants change the amounts of gases in the air. Changes in amount of greenhouse gases can change the amount of greenhouse effect and global warming.
Photo by Lee Klinger, UCAR Digital Image Library
Living Things Affect Climate
There are many different ways that the plants,
animals, and other living
things affect climate. Some produce greenhouses
gases that trap heat and aid global warming through the greenhouse effect. Others take greenhouse gases
out of the air. Here are some examples:
- Plants take greenhouse gases out of the air. During the night, plants release
some back into the air. They take much more greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere
than they put in.
- Farm animals like cows and sheep make greenhouse gases when they digest
- Wetlands and rice patties and the tiny, microscopic bacteria that live
there make greenhouse gas.
- Factories and power plants release greenhouse gas into the atmosphere when
fossil fuels are burned.
- Cars and trucks release greenhouse gas when they burn fossil fuels.
- We use fertilizers to help plants grow but they also make greenhouse gas
when they break apart in the soil.
- Wildfires put greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as they burn. But if the
forest grows back, it will take greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere.
Humans control many things that produce greenhouse gases. Today, more greenhouse
gases are put into the atmosphere than are taken out. This is causing out planet
to become warmer because of the greenhouse
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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist
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, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.
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