Processing, please wait...
It was processed successfully!
It was processed successfully!
Login Create Free Account
Create Free Account

Greenhouse Effect Definition

The greenhouse effect is the process of gases in the atmosphere absorbing infrared light, which keeps Earth warm. For example, carbon dioxide redirect infrared light back toward Earth.

View Lesson on Intro to Climate Change
Grades 6-8 VideoIntro to Climate Change player orange
Preview Only
Oops! It looks like your security settings are blocking this video 🙁

If you are on a school computer or network, ask your tech person to whitelist these URLs:
*.wistia.com, fast.wistia.com, fast.wistia.net, embedwistia-a.akamaihd.net

Sometimes a simple refresh solves this issue. If you need further help, contact us.


Intro to Climate Change

Fun Facts

  • Without the greenhouse effect, Earth's temperature would be -18℃.
  • The greenhouse effect is a good thing for life on Earth because without it, the Earth would be too cold.
  • Humans adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere is called the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect and is responsible for the current warming trend.

Why Do We Need To Know About Greenhouse Effect

Learning about the greenhouse effect helps you see how it changes our climate and why it’s important to lessen its bad effects. This is used in real life, like making biofuels. Biofuels take plants and turn them into energy we can renew, which helps us use less oil and gas and puts less carbon into the air.

Scientists and engineers are leading the way in finding better ways to make energy, like safer nuclear power and better solar panels. Knowing about the greenhouse effect is key for these jobs because it guides them in fighting climate change and working on new energy options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we know that climate has changed over time?
Records of temperatures, examining tree rings, and studying ice cores from glaciers are some ways scientists have used to compare today’s climate with climates of the past.
What are some possible reasons that might cause the climate to change?
Changes in the amount of energy from the Sun reaching Earth, an increase in volcanic eruptions, changes in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
What is the greenhouse effect?
Process that occurs when gases in Earth’s atmosphere trap the sun’s heat being reflected back from the surface.
Explore More Science Topics
We’ve sent you an email with instructions how to reset your password.
Choose Your Free Trial Period
3 Days

3 days to access to all of our teaching resources for free.

Continue to Lessons
30 Days

Get 30 days free by inviting other teachers to try it too.

Share with Teachers
Get 30 Days Free
By inviting 4 other teachers to try it too.
4 required

*only school emails accepted.

Skip, I will use a 3 day free trial

Thank You!

Enjoy your free 30 days trial