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The Greenhouse Effect

What is it, and how does it link to climate change?

The Greenhouse Effect is a natural occurrence whereby gases in the atmosphere trap heat from the sun, keeping the temperature of the Earth in balance.

However human actions such as clear felling and the burning of fossil fuels are greatly increasing the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere, trapping more heat and upsetting the balance.

This warming of the Earth is called Global Warming and is a cause of changes to our climate and weather patterns (Climate Change).

Why should I take action?

  • As a coastal municipality Mosman is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels and changes in rainfall patterns which indicate intense storm events and flooding.
  • Heightened temperatures combined with changing weather patterns may see more severe droughts, heat waves, and bushfires, which can impact upon our health, wellbeing and property.
  • Mosman has remnant bushland, seagrass and threatened species which add to the character and value of Mosman, and would be vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

How can my actions affect the environment?

Our every day actions contribute to the GHG emitted into the atmosphere, from the car we drive, the food we eat and the goods we buy, to the lights and appliances we use at home.

By reducing your GHG emissions you can reduce your individual impact upon the environment. All it takes is an idea of where you use the most energy in your home and some simple steps to reduce your energy use and GHG emissions.

What makes up my household greenhouse gas emissions?


11% - Home heating and cooling, 16% - Water heating, 9% - Fridge / freezer, 3% - Cooking, 2% - Clothes Washing / Drying, 5% - Lighting, 15% - Electronic and home appliances, 34% - Travel


Source: adapted from Australian Greenhouse Office ‘Global Warming Cool It: A Home Guide to Reducing Energy Costs and GHG’ (2006)