Our sun is 149.6 million kilometres away from earth, but that doesn’t mean we don’t benefit from it. As sunlight reaches our atmosphere, it passes through and warms the earth’s surface. The heat then radiates back to space, but because of the build of gases in our atmosphere, a lot of the heat cannot escape.
Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere holds the heat. This prevents the heat from exiting our atmosphere, causing the global temperature to rise. Methane given out by landfill sites absorbs and traps 20% more heat than carbon dioxide, causing even further problems.
This trapped heat is contributing to melting ice caps, retracting glaciers and subsequent rising sea levels.
Our sea levels are rising 3.3 millimetres per year and the global temperature has increased 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. As the temperature rises in the atmosphere, melting away ice caps and glaciers from above, rising sea temperatures cause the ice caps and glaciers to melt from the bottom too. Eventually, the two will meet and our ice caps and glaciers will be completely gone.
As ice melts, it turns to water and this is what is causing the sea levels to rise. If we carry on causing them to rise, they will eventually submerge the world in water. A more short term problem is that it will lead to massive flooding and avalanches as it melts, putting our lives at even more risk.
Along with many other activities, carbon dioxide is released when we burn fossil fuels to power our homes and industry. Coal, oil, gas and other types of fossil fuels are all culprits.
When carbon dioxide is released in to the atmosphere, it traps heat. Sunlight and heat enter out atmosphere and are supposed to exit again. As carbon dioxide holds the heat, it prevents this from happening, causing the increase in the earth’s temperature.
When you use a gas or oil boiler to heat your home, you are harming the planet, although you may not mean to. Not only are gas boilers damaging our atmosphere, they can be costly to maintain, which only causes more hassle for the homeowner.
How is electric heating any different?
Around 15% of the UK’s annual electricity consumption is renewable. This means no fossil fuels are burned in its production and instead, we turn to different energy sources such as wind farms or solar panels to generate the electricity. By doing so, we lower our greenhouse gas emissions and in turn, help towards a cleaner future.
Wind and sunlight are not going to run out, at least not for millions of years, meaning this source of energy is 100% renewable and sustainable for years to come. No more greenhouse gas emissions, no more pollution, just clean energy.
Renewable electricity is certainly the future, and utilising it to power your home (and heating) is one of the best (and easiest) things you can do. With a number of energy suppliers making the change to supply only 100% renewable electricity, the culture is changing for the better.