Greenhouse Effect

The 'greenhouse effect' is caused by certain gases in the atmosphere trapping heat radiated from the Earth. These 'greenhouse' gases absorb outgoing infra-red radiation but do not significantly affect incoming visible radiation (i.e., they act like panes of glass in a greenhouse); the higher their concentration, the more radiation returned and so the higher the temperature of the Earth's surfaces. 'Global warming' is the gradual increase in temperature of the lower atmosphere, as a result of the steady accumulation of greenhouse gases; its effects are expected to include rises in sea levels, decreased amounts of moisture in soils, milder winters, and disruption of delicately balanced ecosystems.

See also: Carbon Dioxide Emissions, Climate Change, Fossil Fuel Emissions, Global Warming, Global Warming Potential, Greenhouse Gases.

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Subjects: Physics


Weblinks:
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Established by WMO and UNEP to assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change.
PEW Center on Global Climate Change Brings together business leaders, policy makers, scientists, and other experts to bring a new approach to a complex and often controversial issue.
Climate Ark Climate Change Portal and Search Engine dedicated to promoting public policy that addresses global climate change through reductions in carbon dioxide and other emissions, renewable energy, energy conservation and ending deforestation.