greenhouse effect


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Related to greenhouse effect: Greenhouse gases, 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
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners

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.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

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.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
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"We started thinking about this solid-state greenhouse effect and how it could be invoked for creating habitable environments on Mars in the future," said Wordsworth.
Boon (2010) found pre-service teachers' conceptual understanding of the greenhouse effect and the ozone layer similar to secondary students, including those with science and environmental studies as their major teaching area.
And if there is to be a schedule for reducing the greenhouse effect, it should be directly linked to the level of economic progress of countries, not to equal measures between them.
All our graduating students seeking professional registration should be able to clearly explain the Earth's carbon cycle and the basic principles of the greenhouse effect.
Yet the recent work of a team of German scientists suggests we need to rewrite all we think we know on the greenhouse effect, climate change and its causes as these three statements are perhaps not quite as ridiculous as they sound.
The electricity and heat currently used by Volvo Trucks' plant in Tuve are produced in part from fossil fuels, which in themselves lead to emissions of carbon dioxide and which in turn contribute to the Greenhouse Effect.
All those anthropogenic causes are distinct from the enhanced greenhouse effect and occur along with ever-present natural variability, which is also a topic of intense research.
This index is useful because it should accurately express the contribution of each gas to the total greenhouse effect and allow for comparisons between the warming effects of different gases.
Fossil formation, evolution, the greenhouse effect, glaciers, weather, earthquakes, magnetism, vast oceanic mountain ranges and more are clearly explained.
Keeping food cold but easily accessible is a resource-intensive undertaking, involving electricity, compressor motors, and insulation, as well as gases such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons, which contribute to ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect. Now researchers are developing alternative equipment that uses the environmentally benign gas helium and thermoacoustic engine technology.
But only the over-the-top doomsday types project "enormous loss of life" from a future artificial greenhouse effect. No such forecast is found in the projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N.