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Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect refers to circumstances where the short wavelengths of visible
light from the sun pass through a transparent medium and are absorbed, but the longer
wavelengths of the infrared re-radiation from the heated objects are unable to pass
through that medium. The trapping of the long wavelength radiation leads to more
heating and a higher resultant temperature. Besides the heating of an automobile by
sunlight through the windshield and the namesake example of heating the greenhouse
by sunlight passing through sealed, transparent windows, the greenhouse effect has
been widely used to describe the trapping of excess heat by the rising concentration of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide strongly absorbs infrared and
does not allow as much of it to escape into space.

Sunlight warms your car

Increasing atmospheric
carbon dioxide
Global warming
Role in the absence of
water on Venus?

A major part of the efficiency of the heating of an actual greenhouse is the trapping of
the air so that the energy is not lost by convection. Keeping the hot air from escaping
out the top is part of the practical "greenhouse effect", but it is common usage to refer
to the infrared trapping as the "greenhouse effect" in atmospheric applications where
the air trapping is not applicable.

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Greenhouse Effect Example

Bright sunlight will effectively warm your car on a cold, clear day by the greenhouse
effect. The longer infrared wavelengths radiated by sun-warmed objects do not pass
readily through the glass. The entrapment of this energy warms the interior of the vehicle.
The trapping of the hot air so that it cannot rise and lose the energy by convection also
plays a major role.

Short wavelengths of visible


light are readily transmitted
through the transparent
windshield. (Otherwise you
wouldn't be able to see through
it!)

Shorter wavelengths of ultraviolet light are largely blocked by glass since they have
greater quantum energies which have absorption mechanisms in the glass. Even though
you may be uncomfortably warm with bright sunlight streaming through, you will not be
sunburned.

The Greenhouse Effect's Impact


The greenhouse effect's impact is to make life as we know it possible on planet
Earth, but the greenhouse effect may also bring an end to life as we know it.

The greenhouse effect refers to the trapping of heat by certain gases in the
atmosphere, including carbon dioxide and methane. Although these gases occur in
only trace amounts, they block significant amounts of heat from escaping out into
space, thus keeping the Earth warm enough for us to survive.
Humans have been adding greenhouse gases in excessive amounts to the
atmosphere ever since the Industrial Revolution, which is enhancing the greenhouse
effect and resulting in what is now known as “global warming.” This increase in
greenhouse gases has the potential to cause catastrophic problems for Earth and its
inhabitants.

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The Biggest Problem - Sea Level Rise
The most dangerous aspect of global warming is probably sea level rise. In fact,
the world's oceans have already risen 4-8 inches.[1] That may not sound like much,
but it has been enough to cause the erosion of some islands.
People have had to relocate to higher ground on low-lying islands in the South
Pacific and off the coast of India as a result of the effects of global warming. Further
sea level rise could cause great suffering. In Bangladesh alone, there are 15 million
people living within 1 meter of sea level and another 8 million in a similar
circumstance in India.

Inhabited land could be inundated if sea levels continue to rise. Much of the
world's best farmland is low-lying, as are many of the world's largest cities. Even a
very modest rise in sea levels would have an enormous impact on millions of people
around the world.

Droughts and Floods


Ironically, changes in the climate due to excess greenhouse gases are causing both
increased drought and increased flooding.

Violent storm activity will increase as temperatures rise and more water
evaporates from the oceans. This includes more powerful hurricanes, pacific
typhoons, and an increased frequency of severe localized storms and tornadoes. As
these storms often result in flooding and property damage, insurance premiums are
skyrocketing in coastal areas as insurance companies struggle to cover escalating
costs.

Warming also causes faster evaporation on land. Many dry areas, including the
American West, Southern Africa, and Australia are experiencing more severe
droughts. The amount of land on the Earth suffering from drought conditions has
doubled since 1970. This has occurred even as total global rainfall has increased by
an estimated 10%!

The Human Price of Climate Change


Drought is driving current increases in food prices around the world, in combination
with increased use of grains for fuel. Globally, the number of malnourished people
decreased up until the late 1990s. Now that number is increasing.

Disease carriers will expand their territory, either by moving to higher elevations
in mountainous areas or by expanding their territory further from the equator. This
expansion will expose millions of humans to the often deadly infectious diseases that
these animals transmit.

150,000 annual deaths worldwide have been tied to climate change already,
according to a 2005 World Health Organization report. Climate related deaths are
expected to double in 25 years. Industrialized countries may be sheltered from the
current impacts of climate change, but others are not.

Heat waves and droughts are responsible for these deaths, as well as floods and
more powerful storms linked to climate change.

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Approaching a Slippery Slope
Global temperatures have risen about .8° Celsius or 1.4° Fahrenheit already. As a result
of this increase, the vast arctic tundra is melting, releasing enormous volumes of both
carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. This creates the possibility of a self-
reinforcing loop of climate change: as more carbon dioxide and methane are released
from the arctic tundra, the greenhouse effect will be further enhanced.

The world's oceans are losing their ability to absorb carbon because of rising
water temperatures, according to accumulating evidence. This is significant because
the world's oceans hold 50 times more carbon than do the world's forests and
grasslands. The decreasing capacity of the Earth's carbon sinks to absorb carbon
could further increase the likelihood of runaway climate change.

Rapid Climate Shifts


Scientists are becoming convinced that past cycles of climate change on the Earth
have been anything but slow and incremental, ever since the idea that the Earth may
warm over time as a result of human-created climate change has reached the public
consciousness.

Climate change happens suddenly and violently. Research indicates that the
Earth's climate exists in a stable state for many thousands of years. Then, pressure
for change builds from increases or decreases in carbon levels as well as changes in
solar radiation. At some point, the Earth reaches a tipping point where global climate
systems and ocean currents are radically altered over the course of only a few years,
or even months.

Once that threshold is crossed, the Earth's climate goes through a period of dramatic
disequilibrium, finally settling down in a new stable state that is very different from
the previous one.

There is no turning back if we cross the threshold and reach a tipping point.
Weather patterns all over the world may be disrupted, ending life as we know it. We
must not gamble with all of life on Earth. You should work to take decisive action to
avoid devastating climate change

Advantages of Greenhouse Effect

The presence of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere produces the
greenhouse effect, which keeps the atmosphere warm. The warm atmosphere is very
essential for the survival of life on Earth in the following ways:

• Precipitation of water, formation of clouds, rainfall etc. life in the biosphere


depend on these resources.

• The warm atmosphere helps in the growth of vegetation and forest etc. These are
sources of food, shelter etc.

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• This effect helps in rapid bio-degradation of dead plants and animals.

Global warming

Harmful results of Greenhouse Effect is global warming. While the green house gases
enable life to exist, problems arise when the atmospheric concentrations of these gases
increase. All climate changes up to the industrial revolution occurred naturally as very
few gases were released by human activity into the atmosphere. Human activity through
rapid industrialization, combustion of fossil fuel, demands of population growth and
deforestation have altered the chemical composition of gases in the atmosphere.

In the last century the Earth's surface temperature has risen by over 1 F. Accelerated
warming has taken place over the last two decades and the ten hottest years were
recorded in the last 15 years of the century, 1998 being the hottest year. Scientists expect
the temperature to rise an additional 0.6 to 2.5 C in the next 50 years and 1.4 5.8 C. (with
significant regional variation) in the next 100 years. The impact of a change in the Earth's
temperature on climate can be gauged by the fact that at the peak of the last ice age
(18,000 years ago) the temperature was only 7 F colder than it is today.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution atmospheric concentration of carbon


dioxide has increased nearly by 30%. Methane concentration has increased by more than
100% and nitrous oxide by about 15%. These increases have enhanced the heat trapping
capability of the Earth's atmosphere.

In this industrial age, excessive burning of fossil fuels have released enormous amount of
carbon dioxide in atmosphere, which cannot be removed by plants and ocean waters.
Thus, concentration of carbon dioxide in atmosphere is steadily rising and increasing the
greenhouse effect or global warming.

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Fig: 18.2 Global Temperature Changes

Estimating future emissions is difficult, though scientists in western countries have


developed several different scenarios based on differing projections of underlying factors.
One projection states that in the absence of emission policies, carbon dioxide
concentrations are projected to be 30-150 % higher than todays levels in the next 100
years. This in turn will have disastrous consequences. Scientists are estimating the
following impacts and consequences:

Rising sea levels

Globally sea levels have risen 4-8 inches over the last century. The high temperatures
have already started melting polar ice caps sea icebergs and glaciers. This has released
enormous amount of water. Warmer temperatures also heat water and make it expand;
thus ocean levels need more space and further rise. The level of sea is likely to rise by
several inches to up to 3 feet during this century. This would lead to vast coastal flooding,
huge expense by Governments and individuals to safeguard oceanfront property,
submerging of low-lying coastal countries e.g., Denmark, Bangladesh. It would also
cause the conversion of fresh water habitats and eco-systems into saltwater areas
endangering vegetation, crops, animals and water supply along the coast.

Change in climate

Global warming has already occurred and will continue to do so. Evaporation will
increase as climate warms and there will be an increase in average global precipitation.
Local climate conditions are likely to change depending on the modifications of local
rainfall patterns. The quality and quantity of drinking water, water availability for

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irrigation, industrial use, electricity generation and the health of fish may be significantly
affected by changes in precipitation and increased evaporation.

Soil moisture is likely to drop affecting crops and the need for irrigation. The high
temperature may reduce crop production, thereby causing famines. Intense rainfall
(extremes) is also predicted. Tropical rains and hurricanes will be more frequent and
stronger. Increased rainfall may cause more frequent flooding. Climate change would
likely add stress to major river basins worldwide.

Human health and heat stress

Along with warmer temperatures and higher humidity, the number of very hot days is
expected to rise in many areas around the globe. Heat stress occurs in such conditions and
the young, old and poor people are more susceptible to it. High temperatures will reduce
work efficiency of human beings.

Further air pollution, changes in food and water supplies resulting from global warming,
will all affect human health. Changing patterns of precipitation and temperature may
produce new breeding sites for pests, shifting the range of infectious diseases.

Alteration of habitats and ecosystems

Many of the worlds habitats and ecosystems depend on a delicate balance of rainfall,
temperature and soil type. A complex food chain supply exists based on these factors.
Higher temperatures and precipitation changes are likely to cause diverse changes such as
increased forest susceptibility to fire, disease and insect damage also, deserts may expand
into existing grass lands.

Similarly, changes in ocean temperature will adversely affect the marine life. If future
changes occur as rapidly as some scientists predict, plants, animals and marine life may
not be able to adapt quickly enough to survive.

Cooling of stratosphere

Increasing concentration of greenhouse gases are expected to cause cooling of


stratosphere. This could happen because most of the thermal IR radiation will be trapped
and absorbed at lower altitudes; little will be left to warm the stratosphere. Cooling of
stratosphere would mean enhanced greenhouse effect i.e., greater global warming.

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The disadvantages of greenhouse effect

The greenhouse effect is the cause of global warming which in turn is the major
contributory factor to climate change. Some of the disadvantages (and a few advantages)
to climate change are given below, summarised from a report I wrote a few months ago...

EFFECTS ON WEATHER
An increase in the amount of precipitation. Although rainfall overall will increase there
are some parts of the world that are already receiving less rainfall and this trend is likely
to continue.

Hurricanes and storms will become more frequent, widespread and severe, in the last 30
years the proportion of category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled. Once exclusively
confined to the northern hemisphere there have recently been hurricanes in the southern
hemisphere, most notably in Brazil.

DESERTIFICATION
Shifting weather patterns mean some areas receive less rainfall; the ground becomes
barren and unable to sustain crops. In many parts of the world the layer of topsoil is both
very thin and very poor. The dry, dusty soil is readily blown away and the area becomes
desert. African and Asian countries are particularly hard hit.

AGRICULTURAL IMPACT
For the reasons mentioned above there will be a major impact on agriculture. Rising sea
levels will result in the loss of large areas of agricultural land, the consequences of which
will be population migration, famine and / or the need to import food from elsewhere.
Again, it will be the African and Asian countries that are hardest hit with crop production
falling by up to a third.

RISING SEA LEVELS


Sea levels are rising faster now than at any time since the melting of the glaciers that
marked the end of the last ice age. As the glaciers melted sea levels rose by some 120
metres (400 feet) but for the last few thousand years sea levels have been almost constant
rising only 10 centimetres (4 inches) per thousand years.

Since the onset of global warming the seas have risen much faster. A hundred years ago
they were rising by 1mm a year, today they are rising by 3mm a year and indications are
that they will rise much quicker in the future. Sea levels are rising 30 times faster now
than they were before industrialisation and the onset of global warming.

The Sundarman Delta has seen levels rising by more than 30mm a year, millions have
already been forced to leave their homes and the Carteret Islands in the Pacific Ocean are
currently being evacuated.

In years to come rising sea levels could swamp cities including London, New York and
Miami. Low lying areas such as Bangladesh, much of the European and American coasts

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and island groups including the Seychelles and Maldives would be submerged.

MELTING OF ICE CAPS


The Arctic ice cap is floating; if it were to melt entirely there would be no change in sea
levels. However, Antarctica is a continent, a land mass, it isn’t floating and any melting
here adds to the sea level as does melting of ice sheets and glaciers in places such as
Greenland.

The edges of the Antarctic Ice Sheet are breaking off and collapsing into the sea. One of
the biggest breaks occurred in 2002 when the Larsen B Ice Shelf broke off. This huge
mass of ice covered 3250 square kilometres and weighed half a trillion tons.

POPULATION MIGRATION
For the reasons mentioned above, large numbers of people are going to find it
increasingly difficult to remain in their present locations and in many cases it will be
impossible. In Bangladesh some 13 million people will be forced to move if the sea level
rises by just one metre and in the US tens of millions will be affected particularly along
the north east coast, Florida, Louisiana and California. Globally it is expected that
hundreds of millions of people will need to relocate or emigrate.

MARINE ENVIRONMENT
The world’s oceans absorb carbon dioxide, some of which dissolves to form carbonic
acid and this is affecting the alkalinity of the oceans. Many forms of marine life are
highly sensitive to the level of alkalinity. The formation of corals is being affected and
plankton, which forms the basis of the marine food chain, is also very sensitive. The
increasing levels of carbon dioxide make it harder for many species of fish and shellfish
to breathe and reproduce. Changes in the ecology and chemistry of the seas and oceans
reduce their ability to absorb CO2, which consequently increases the rate of global
warming.

ECOSYSTEMS
Parts of Antarctica are now covered in grass and there is a massive migration of animals
towards the polar regions, these migrations extend an average of 6.1km further from the
equator each decade. Butterflies have extended their territory by some 200km further
north in Europe and North America.

In the Arctic the habitat of polar bears and emperor penguins is being threatened. The
waters of the Hudson Bay for example, are now ice free for three weeks more each year
than they were 30 years ago. Polar bears are starving because they need to venture onto
the frozen ice to hunt food. In another 10 or 20 years there may no longer be polar bears
in this region and within a hundred years they could be extinct.

The most extensive report into global warming and climate change predicts that up to
40% of animal species could become extinct due to global warming.

HEALTH AND DISEASE

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Global warming will be both beneficial and detrimental to people's health. There will be
fewer deaths from cold related conditions but more deaths from heat related conditions.
Globally there are more heat related deaths than cold related deaths so the net impact will
be a loss of life.

Warmer temperatures lead to an increase in air and water pollution thus increasing the
risk to humans from infection and respiratory conditions such as asthma. Warmer
temperatures are conducive to the breeding and spread of rats, mice, other rodents, ticks,
mosquitoes and other vectors for disease. This will lead to an increase in the number of
people affected and an expansion into previously unaffected areas.

WATER SCARCITY
Rising sea levels lead to the contamination of groundwater rendering it undrinkable
whilst at the same time higher temperatures lead to greater evaporation of fresh water
from reservoirs. This will impact on the human population as well as plants, animals and
agriculture.

Higher temperatures and changing climate patterns mean that some areas will receive less
rainfall, in other areas when the rain does fall it is likely to do so on hard, sun-baked
ground which is unable to absorb it. Instead of replenishing groundwater supplies the
water will run off causing flash flooding and a lowering of the water table.

MOUNTAIN ENVIRONMENTS
Glaciers are melting faster than has been known before - up to 40 metres per day in some
places. In the last 100 years 50% of the world’s glaciers outside the polar regions have
melted. The effects of glacial melt include flooding, landslides, avalanches and loss of
habitat. In some mountainous regions melt water provides a year round water supply and
without the glaciers there will be near drought conditions.

ECONOMY
Increased adverse weather in itself could cost 1% of the worldwide GDP and a
temperature rise of 2 or 3°C would reduce global economic output by 3%. In percentage
terms these aren’t very big numbers but in terms of dollars the cost runs into trillions.

Insurance premiums are rising in line with the increased number of claims. The
Association of British Insurers notes a 100% rise in weather related claims in recent years
and states that climate change is already seriously impacting on the insurance industry.

Source(s):
Ooops - the answer's too long so I have to split it...

THERMOHALINE CIRCULATION
A possible effect of global warming is the failure or slowing of the ocean conveyor belts
or meridional overturning circulation. Research is continuing and it's unclear at this time
what effect, if any, global warming will have on thermohaline circulation. One theory is
that the melting of polar ice could reduce salinity and introduce cold water into the

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oceans which could trigger a slowing or shutdown of thermohaline circulation. It's
thought that the Gulf Stream which conveys warm Caribbean water to the coasts of
Ireland, Britain and northern Europe is the most likely to be affected. Should this occur
temperatures in these regions would drop be several degrees.

CIVIL ENGINEERING
A rise in sea levels would need to be countered with extensive flood defence schemes.
Costly engineering schemes would need to be constructed in order to protect coastal
cities. Many countries would not be able to afford such schemes and low lying
communities may need to be evacuated.

Temperature fluctuations cause damage to road surfaces, pipelines including oil, gas,
water and sewerage pipes, railway lines and airport runways. Greater contraction and
expansion resulting from fluctuating temperatures and greater temperature ranges
weakens the structure.

DEVELOPING NATIONS
The developing nations are expected to be the worst affected by global warming.
Decreasing rainfall, drought, insect infestation and severe weather events will seriously
impact on crop production leading to famine and starvation. Economic development is
likely to be restricted whilst at the same time poverty increases. The poorer countries of
the world are the ones that have the least resources to mitigate the effects of global
warming.

OTHER EFFECTS
Some of the other impacts of global warming include: arctic warming, increased power
outages, marine food chain disruption, changes to bird migration patterns, more wildfires,
erosion, desertification, disappearing beaches, damage to tundra regions, impact on ozone
layer, insect infestation, threat to boreal forests, coastal erosion, threat to mountain
environments, loss of wetland and marshland habitats, decline in bird population, thawing
of permafrost, increased acidity of oceans, release of further greenhouse gases, increased
allergens (asthma etc), coral destruction and bleaching, loss of ocean conveyor belts
(Gulf Stream) etc, loss of Arctic sea ice, impact on winter sports.

Greenhouse
Greenhouse, enclosed glass house used for growing plants in regulated temperatures,
humidity, and ventilation. A greenhouse can range from a small room carrying a few
plants over the winter, to an immense heated glass building called a hothouse or
conservatory, covering acres of ground and used for forcing fruits or flowers out of
season. Greenhouses have long been used for holding plants over cold seasons and for
growing tropical plants and less hardy fruits, but only in this century has the greenhouse
been used for forcing vegetables. Now millions of dollars' worth of plant products are
raised yearly in greenhouses

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/greenhouse#ixzz15vXHpYWs

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What Factors Impact a Greenhouse?

The earth's atmospheric "greenhouse effect" is much more complex than the simple
greenhouse experiment described in Activity 12. While the earth's temperature is
dependent upon the greenhouse-like action of the atmosphere, the amount of heating and
cooling are strongly influenced by several factors.

The type of surface that sunlight first encounters is the most important factor. Forests,
grasslands, ocean surfaces, ice caps, deserts, and cities all absorb, reflect, and radiate
radiation differently. Sunlight falling on a white glacier surface strongly reflects back into
space, resulting in minimal heating of the surface and lower atmosphere. Sunlight falling
on a dark desert soil is strongly absorbed, on the other hand, and contributes to significant
heating of the surface and lower atmosphere. Cloud cover also affects greenhouse
warming by both reducing the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth's surface and
by reducing the amount of radiation energy emitted into space.

Scientists use the term albedo to define the percentage of solar energy reflected back by a
surface. Understanding local, regional, and global albedo effects is critical to predicting
global climate change. The following are some of the factors that influence the earth's
albedo.

• Clouds: On a hot, sunny day, we usually welcome a big fluffy cumulus cloud
passing overhead because we feel cooler immediately. That's because the top of
the cloud reflects sunlight back into space before it ever reaches earth. Depending
on their altitude and optical properties, clouds either cool or warm the earth.
Large, thick, relatively low-altitude clouds, such as cumulus and cumulonimbus,
reflect incoming solar radiation and thereby reduce warming of the surface. The
whitewash on plant greenhouses has the same effect on a smaller scale. High-
altitude, thinner clouds, such as cirrus clouds, absorb longwave radiation reflected
from the earth's surface, causing increased warming.

Cirrus Cumulus Nimbus


• Surface albedo: Just as some clouds reflect solar energy into space, so do light-
colored land surfaces. This surface albedo effect strongly influences the
absorption of sunlight. Snow and ice cover are highly reflective, as are light-
colored deserts. Large expanses of reflective surfaces can significantly reduce
solar warming. Dark-colored land surfaces, in contrast, are strongly absorptive
and contribute to warming. If global temperatures increase, snow and ice cover
may shrink. The exposed darker surfaces underneath may absorb more solar

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radiation, causing further warming. The magnitude of the effect is currently a
matter of serious scientific study and debate.

• Oceans: From space, oceans look much different than adjacent land areas − they
often appear darker, suggesting that they should be absorbing far more sunlight.
But unlike dry land, water absorbs energy in a dynamic fashion. Some of the solar
energy contacting the surface may be carried away by currents, some may go into
producing water vapor, and some may penetrate the surface and be mixed meters
deep into the water column. These factors combine to make the influence of the
ocean surface an extremely complex and difficult phenomenon to predict.

Water also has the capacity to store heat and transport large amounts of heat
energy. In addition, oceans are an important sink (storage site) for atmospheric
, and their ability to absorb is strongly related to ocean temperature.

Because of their enormous size and depth, oceans are extremely important in
determining global climate and the future rate of global temperature change.

• Forested areas: Like the oceans, the interaction of forests and sunlight is
complex. The amount of solar radiation absorbed by forest vegetation depends
upon the type and color of vegetation, the time of year, and how well watered and
healthy the plants are. In general, plants provide a dark surface, so you might
expect high solar absorption. A significant fraction of the solar radiation is
captured by the plants and used to make food through photosynthesis (and thus it
doesn't re-radiate as heat); some of the energy is dissipated as water evaporates
from plant leaves; and some is absorbed and distributed deep within the forest
canopy. These complexities make a simple definition of forest influences
impossible.

Advantages of a greenhouse

A greenhouse is a special addition to your own gardening hobby. Greenhouses were once
thought of as a luxury, but greenhouses are now becoming more of a necessity for anyone
who wants the best and healthy plants without having to spend a fortune on plants. Have
you been dreaming of owning a greenhouse? Read on for more information about why
owning a greenhouse benefits you!

A greenhouse allows you to control the growing environment within the walls so that you
can grow whatever type of plants you want. There are some plants that require full sun,
less sun, lots of water or only a very little bit of water. You can grow plants in different
sections within the greenhouse, where you can contain how big the plant gets until you
are ready to put it outdoors.

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One of the best reasons to have your own greenhouse is so that you can extend your
seasons, both in to the fall, and you can start earlier in the spring months. Many
greenhouse owners love using their greenhouse year round so that they can feel like it is
spring everyday when they walk in to their greenhouse.

Greenhouses are great for sharing your hobby with friends, relatives, husband or child.
Bonding relationships are important in your life, and gardening is a simple way to build
these relationships.

You can grow your favorite type of plant in the greenhouse, and give it away for those
special occasions. You can give plants when someone is sick, married, had a baby, when
someone died, when you feel that it is a special day, when Mother’s day comes around,
and even for Easter and Christmas. Plants and flowers brighten anyone’s day and you can
give the best hardy plants you grew!

When you own a greenhouse, you are protecting your plants from outside bugs, children
and most importantly from the ever changing weather.

Using a greenhouse is easy. With automated systems, you will find that you can achieve
more in your greenhouse with out as much work!

Another advantage of owning a greenhouse is that you are eating fresh vegetables and
you will know exactly what is put on the plants during the growing process. Often the
chemicals used in commercial gardening we never know what was used and that can be
harmful over a period of time.

Last but not least, one of the most important advantages for owning a greenhouse is the
rest and relaxation that you can find within the walls of your greenhouse. When you step
in to the quiet warm atmosphere of the greenhouse in the middle of a busy winter day,
your troubles all seem to melt away!

The Disadvantages of Greenhouses

Greenhouses allow gardeners to germinate seeds and grow plants before it is safe to plant
them in the ground in their area. Greenhouses also allow gardeners to create an
environment where they might be able to grow a specific type of plant that might not
thrive in their area at any time of the year. The reasons not to have a greenhouse are the
cost to buy or build, space needs and time, energy and money to maintain the building.

Cost

Gardeners will spend more money upfront to purchase a prefabricated greenhouse or to


build a greenhouse from scratch than they will to plant directly in the ground or
containers. It is not unusual for gardeners to spend $1,000 for a small, entry-level
greenhouse structure. For a more substantial structure with heating, irrigation and
ventilation systems, the price rises considerably. Gardeners, who build their own

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greenhouses, must pay for construction materials and sometimes, for additional labor. It
will cost extra to hire electricians to add electricity for lighting, heating and ventilation
units and plumbers to connect pipes for water and drainage. Homeowners will then see an
increase in their monthly water and electric bills. In some municipalities, homeowners
must pay permit fees, if they are allowed to build at all, to add a greenhouse to their
property.

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Space

Homeowners need space in their backyards or gardens for the greenhouse. Greenhouses
will be more efficient in open locations where they receive natural light, preferably direct
sunlight. Ideally, greenhouses will receive light from above and at least one side. Thus, a
gardener who purchases a standard 6 x 8 foot greenhouse needs to plan for several more
yards of space to surround it. Manufacturers charge more when they add stylish
embellishments to a greenhouse. Homeowners, who have the physical space for a
greenhouse, may require a particular look to complement their landscape. Other
homeowners may not want their view blocked by a building, even one with mostly
translucent to transparent sides. A greenhouse placed near a property line risks reducing
light on a neighbor's property and that may cause unexpected problems.

Maintenance

Homeowners must expend time and money to maintain greenhouses by adding insulation
when necessary. Most manufacturers of lower-cost greenhouses do not insulate them well
enough to protect the plants against strong winds or cold temperatures. Gardeners must
caulk around windows and doors, as well as, add layers of plastic to keep heat in during
the winter. Greenhouses need ventilation to release the excess hot air that builds up.
Greenhouses owners will need to install an automated vent system or spend time
measuring the interior temperatures of the greenhouse and then opening windows or
doors, manually, to release the heat. Lots of light and humidity help plants to grow, but
these conditions also encourage the growth of algae and fungi and greenhouse owners
must clean this from the roof and wall panels on a regular basis. One winter snowstorm
can deposit heavy snow on the roof and cause the roof or the entire structure to collapse.
Greenhouse owners will have to devise some strategy to clear the snow off the roof and
that usually entails standing in the cold.

Read more: The Disadvantages of Greenhouses | Garden Guides


http://www.gardenguides.com/99413-disadvantages-greenhouses.html#ixzz15vVs8gOh

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