Greenhouse Effect main content.

Greenhouse Effect

Part of Hall of the Universe.

Greenhouse effect_HERO AMNH/D. Finnin

Exhibition Text

Visible sunlight heats a planet’s surface, which re-radiates the energy as infrared light. Certain atmospheric gases absorb and trap much of this infrared energy, raising the temperature at the surface. Temperatures increase until the energy escaping the atmosphere balances the energy received from the Sun. This atmospheric heating is known as the greenhouse effect. Earth’s mild greenhouse effect prevents its oceans from freezing over.

For Educators

Topic: Astronomy

Subtopic: Planets

Keywords: Astrophysics, Solar radiation, Greenhouse effect, Atmospheric, Planets--Atmospheres

Audience: General