The greenhouse effect is named after the greenhouse, a structure in which plants are grown
The Greenhouse Effect refers to both the trapping and accumulation of the sun’s heat within the troposphere, the layer of the atmosphere closest to the Earth’s surface.
Essentially, the sun emits infrared (and visible) radiation towards the Earth which is then bounced back into space.
Meanwhile, greenhouse gases will absorb the escaping heat and send it back to the Earth’s surface, thereby causing an increase in surface temperatures around the globe.
Hence, the greenhouse effect is responsible for global warming, the increase in global surface temperatures.
Finally, it should be mentioned that although temperatures in the troposphere will increase due to the greenhouse effect, the temperatures in the stratosphere (a higher layer of the atmosphere) will actually get cooler.
This is because the greenhouse gases will prevent heat from escaping the atmosphere as aforementioned.
Although this might seem trivial, this is actually important evidence that climate change is caused by mankind.« Back to Glossary Index