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The Greenhouse Effect

For the first time in a long time, I went to the and unexpectedly enjoyed it even though it was a required class trip. I found it amazing that the major environmental factors that we talk about in class were demonstrated in such a relatively small garden. The greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere prevent long-wave radiation from escaping, trapping it and resulting in increased temperatures. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden uses the greenhouse effect to keep plants that require a specific temperature alive despite the harsh New York City climate.

A greenhouse is made of transparent materials that let sunlight enter. The sunlight is absorbed in the form of infrared heat energy that is trapped inside the greenhouse, keeping the inside of the greenhouse warm. The ability to control the temperature inside a greenhouse has enabled most tropical, desert, and warm temperate plants to live in New York even during the winter. Some plants, especially the tropical plants, would find it hard to survive in this garden without the greenhouse. These plants include the guava tree, the soursop, the tamarind, the papaya, and the banana, which are all vulnerable to the cold and would succumb quite easily to frost.

The Aquatic House at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens by City Tech photographer Daniah Saifan

 

The According to Greener Ideal, a greenhouse provides an optimal environment for a wide variety of plants to grow locally. Thus, people do not have to travel to the home of species to see them. The Botanical Garden’s greenhouse desert made me feel as if I was really in the desert. It was warm and very dry. I observed different types of aloe plants that I never knew existed. These plants require a warm temperature environment and a lot of water.

Another aspect of the greenhouse is that its located in an area free of shade from trees or buildings. Naturally, clouds cannot be avoided, and on cloudy days, there is a risk that the greenhouse temperature will drop. That being said, one way to prevent the sunlight from being blocked is to locate the greenhouse in a large open plain where the lack of shape allows maximum sunlight to enter the greenhouse. This in turn allows the temperature to be controlled to a certain degree. I learned that some developers in the same area where I grew up are planning to build tall buildings that would block the sunlight and shorten the hours that sunlight enters the greenhouse. This will have a negative on the greenhouse because it would lower the temperature and affect the living conditions of the plants. This has led to a campaign by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden to urge supporters to “fight for sunlight” by texting SUNLIGHT to 484848.

The greenhouse conservatory benefits different plants from all around the world. We know that worldwide deforestation contributes to the extinction of plants and trees. The greenhouse serves as a protection and a safeguard against the extinction of rare of plant species, some of which are important for food and medicine. According to Ecowatch, the greenhouse protects some of the most unique and endangered species of plants that are threatened by certain uncontrolled conditions such as landslides. Plants are important for maintaning Earth’s temperature, which is done by the trees absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Therefore when plants and trees are destroyed, they release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, blocking the passing of terrestrial radiation to space and thus contributing to global warming and climate change, which ultimately has a devastating impact on us.

The class trip was helpful. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden greenhouses allowed me to observe things up close, personal, and hands-on, which strengthened my knowledge of the greenhouse effect. I found that a variety of different plants from around the world  can survive in the harsh cold of a New York winter with the help of a simple structure called a greenhouse, which keeps the temperature warm enough for the plants to thrive.

 

 

 

References

Author, G. (2017,  April 10). Advantages of growing plants within a greenhouse.Greener Ideal. Retrieved on April 9, 2020, from https://greenerideal.com/guides/13-advantages-of-growing-plants-within-a-greenhouse/

Chow, L. ( 2018, May 04). World largest greenhouse reopens to safeguard Earth’s rarest and most threatened plants. EcoWatch. Retrieved on  April 9, 2020, from https://www.ecowatch.com/amp/endangered-plants-greenhouse-2565840027#aoh=15864578783104&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s

Saifan, D. (2020). Group pool.Flickr. Retrieved on May 14, 2020 from  https://www.Flickr.com/groups/14701444@N23/pool/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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