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 and the lower atmosphere, it results in an elevation of the average surface temperature above what it would be in the absence of the gases.

Solar radiation at the frequencies of visible light largely passes through the atmosphere to warm the planetary surface, which then emits this energy at the lower frequencies of infrared thermal radiation. Infrared radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases, which in turn re-radiate much of the energy to the surface and lower atmosphere. The mechanism is named after the effect of solar radiation passing through glass and warming a greenhouse, but the way it retains heat is fundamentally different as a greenhouse works by reducing airflow, isolating the warm air inside the structure so that heat is not lost by convection.

If an ideal thermally conductive blackbody was the same distance from the Sun as the Earth is, it would have a temperature of about 5.3 °C. However, since the Earth reflects about 30% of the incoming sunlight, the planet's effective temperature (the temperature of a blackbody that would emit the same amount of radiation) is about −18 °C, about 33°C below the actual surface temperature of about 14 °C. The mechanism that produces this difference between the actual surface temperature and the effective temperature is due to the atmosphere and is known as the greenhouse effect.

Earth’s natural greenhouse effect makes life as we know it possible. However, human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests, have intensified the natural greenhouse effect, causing global warming.

Read more about Greenhouse Effect:  History, Mechanism, Greenhouse Gases, Role in Climate Change, Real Greenhouses, Bodies Other Than Earth

Other articles related to "greenhouse effect, effect, greenhouse, greenhouse effects, effects":

Augie Auer
... Auer “ Water vapour was responsible for 95 per cent of the greenhouse effect, an effect which was vital to keep the world warm ... …If we didn't have the greenhouse effect the planet would be at minus 18 deg C but because we do have the greenhouse effect it is plus 15 deg C, all the time ... The other greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen dioxide, and various others including CFCs, contributed only five per cent of the effect, carbon dioxide being by far the greatest ...
Greenhouse Effect - Bodies Other Than Earth
... In the Solar System, Mars, Venus, and the moon Titan also exhibit greenhouse effects that on Venus is particularly large, due to its atmosphere, which consists mainly of dense carbon ... Pluto also exhibits behavior superficially similar to the anti-greenhouse effect ... A runaway greenhouse effect occurs if positive feedbacks lead to the evaporation of all greenhouse gases into the atmosphere ...
Glossary Of Fuel Cell Terms - G - Greenhouse Effect
... Gases in the Earth's atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect, effectively absorbing thermal infrared radiation, emitted by the Earth’s surface ...
Electromagnetic Absorption By Water - Atmospheric Effects
... See also Infrared window Water vapor is a greenhouse gas in the Earth's atmosphere, responsible for 70% of the known absorption of incoming sunlight ... Its effects are also an important consideration in infrared astronomy and radio astronomy in the microwave or millimeter wave bands ... nm, but its presence in the Earth's atmosphere accounts for just 26% of the greenhouse effect ...
Black-body Radiation - Temperature Relation Between A Planet and Its Star
... Earth's infrared glow The albedo effect causing a fraction of light to be reflected by the planet The greenhouse effect for planets with an atmosphere Energy generated ... Ignoring the atmosphere and greenhouse effect, the planet, since it is at a much lower temperature than the sun, emits mostly in the infrared (IR) portion of the spectrum. 1–6 and simplifying yields the estimated temperature of the planet, ignoring greenhouse effect, TP In other words, given the assumptions made, the temperature of a planet depends only on the ...

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