Glossary term: Greenhouse Effect

Description: The greenhouse effect is a warming of the atmosphere due to the emission of certain gases such as water, methane, and carbon dioxide. Visible light from the Sun reaches the surface of a planet and is re-emitted as infrared radiation. Greenhouse gases trap this infrared radiation within the atmosphere and hence the radiation cannot escape to free space; this makes the planet warmer than it would have been without these gases. In certain circumstances, this heating can lead to more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, causing a runaway greenhouse effect. This is what has happened in the atmosphere of the planet Venus. Human-made emissions of greenhouse gases since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century has led to global warming on Earth due to the greenhouse effect.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".