MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: What is the greenhouse effect?

Date: Wed Jan 30 00:14:26 2008
Posted By: Stephanie Shaw, Post-doc/Fellow, UC Berkeley Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 1201617695.Es

The greenhouse effect is a very relevant topic in science today. The EPA Climate Change Kids Site ( ) states: "The greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain gases in the atmosphere (water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, for example) trap energy from the sun. Without these gases, heat would escape back into space and Earth’s average temperature would be about 60ºF colder. Because of how they warm our world, these gases are referred to as greenhouse gases." I am glad you are interested in learning more about this topic, but can not write your school paper for you. A quick search of the internet will result in thousands of hits. Your primary task is to decide which sites to trust. Be sure to learn more about whatever organization is posting this information. Government sites (such as NOAA, NCAR, UCAR, EPA) and university sites are very trustworthy and explain the science at an appropriate level for your grade. I just found at least 4 relevant sites on the first results page from an internet search. The MadSci archives also have numerous entries such as:

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