The Green House Effect

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

The greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface, energy is transferred to the surface and the lower atmosphere. As a result, the temperature there is higher than it would be if direct heating by solar radiation were the only warming mechanism.




•    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.
•    it's a crucial and positive part of Earth's energy balance
•    It's what allows Earth to stay warm enough for life to survive. Without it, Earth would feel something like Mars.
•    The process gets its name from the greenhouses that stay nice and warm for growing plants.
•    Earth's greenhouse effect keeps the planet much warmer than surrounding space.

Page Information and Media Provided by Judy Tangata.