greenhouse effect

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greenhouse effect

a theorized change in the earth's climate caused by accumulation of solar heat in the earth's surface and atmosphere. Human activity contributes increasing amounts of the so-called greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbon, to the atmosphere. Some of the particles and gases in the atmosphere also allow more sunlight to filter through to the earth's surface but reflect much of the radiant infrared energy that otherwise would escape through the atmosphere back into space. See also global warming.

greenhouse effect

Planetary warming as a result of the trapping of solar energy beneath atmospheric gases. The composition and concentration of the gases in the atmosphere influence the earth's surface temperature because some gases more effectively retain heat than others. Fossil fuel combustion, which has increased at a rapid rate since the 1950s, has deposited increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere. This is thought to be a contributory factor in global warming, a phenomenon suspected of having widespread effects on all ecosystems. See: global warming; ozone

greenhouse effect

The progressive earth-heating effect resulting from the transparency of the atmosphere to sun (solar) radiation at high frequencies and its relative opacity to energy re-radiated by the earth at a lower, less penetrative, frequency. Water vapour and carbon dioxide are the main elements concerned, and any increase in these, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, enhances the heating effect. A rise in surface temperature could melt polar ice and cause widespread flooding.

greenhouse effect

  1. an effect occurring in greenhouses in which the glass transmits short wavelengths but absorbs and re-radiates longer wavelengths, thus heating the interior.
  2. the application of this effect to the earth's atmosphere. Infrared radiation tends to be trapped by carbon dioxide and water vapour in the earth's atmosphere and some of it is re-radiated back to the earth's surface.
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Revisiting this classic planetary science scenario with new computer modeling, the astronomers found a lower thermal radiation threshold for the runaway greenhouse process, meaning that stage may be easier to initiate than had been previously thought.
They warn that we might trigger a runaway greenhouse effect here.
But Prof McGuire stressed the 84metre rise was a 'Doomsday scenario He said: ' This will only happen if we do nothing about carbon gas emissions, which will lead to a runaway greenhouse effect.
While predictions of a runaway greenhouse effect are in the realms of science fiction, Enting says human-induced global warming may cause changes in temperature and precipitation that could push the global carbon cycle permanently into a new regime.
Its dense carbon dioxide atmosphere, with surface pressures of 90 times that of Earth, causes a runaway greenhouse effect that raises the surface temperatures up to 450 degree C.
It's unlikely the planet would experience any sort of runaway greenhouse effect that would heat it beyond the point of livability, he says.
Oregon is on the front lines of the worldwide effort to prevent a runaway greenhouse catastrophe.
This will only happen if we do nothing about carbon gas emissions, leading to a runaway greenhouse effect.
Moons that orbit their planet too closely will undergo strong tidal heating and thus a catastrophic runaway greenhouse effect that would boil away surface water and leave them forever uninhabitable.
A runaway greenhouse effect has heated the planet's surface to a smoldering 470[degrees]Celsius, perhaps evaporating ancient oceans.