Sustainable Living: 3M FuturewiseTown PlanIntroductionGo BackGo Next3M

Greenhouse
effect

Back to south side of the building

The greenhouse effect is the warming of the planet due to certain gases in the atmosphere. Some gases act can like a blanket around the planet, preventing heat from leaving the atmosphere. These gases are called greenhouse gases because the glass of a greenhouse traps the sun's heat and prevents heat escaping. However greenhouse gases
act differently from the glass of a greenhouse so it's not a very accurate name.

The heat radiation we get from the Sun has a short wavelength. Short wavelength heat passes through the atmosphere (including greenhouse gases) without heating the gases. This short wavelength heat is absorbed by the Earth and then re-emitted. Because the Earth is much colder than the Sun, it emits much longer wavelength heat.



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