Discuss briefly the following:
(a) Greenhouse gases
(b) Catalytic converter
(c) Ultraviolet B
(a) Greenhouse gases: – Thegreenhouse effect refers to an overall increase in the average temperature of the Earth due to the presence of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases mainly consist of carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour. When solar radiations reach the Earth, some of these radiations are absorbed. These absorbed radiations are released back into the atmosphere. These radiations are trapped by the greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere.. This helps in keeping our planet warm and thus, helps in human survival. However, an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases can lead to an excessive increase in the Earth’s temperature, thereby causing global warming.
(b) Catalytic converter: – Catalytic converters are devices fitted in automobiles to reduce vehicular pollution. These devices contain expensive metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium that act as catalysts. As the vehicular discharge passes through the catalytic converter, the unburnt hydrocarbons present in it get converted into carbon dioxide and water. Carbon monoxide and nitric oxide released by catalytic converters are converted into carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas (respectively).
(c) Ultraviolet-B: – Ultraviolet-B is an electromagnetic radiation which has a shorter wavelength than visible light. It is a harmful radiation that comes from sunlight and penetrates through the ozone hole onto the Earth’s surface. It induces many health hazards in humans. UV −B damages DNA and activates the process of skin ageing. It also causes skin darkening and skin cancer. High levels of UV −B cause corneal cataract in human beings.