Browse Definitions:
Definition

greenhouse effect

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

The Greenhouse effect is the warming effect of the sun on greenhouse gases like CO2 that act to trap this heat in our atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere release heat absorbed from the sun's infrared radiation (IR). Some of the heat released reaches the earth, along with heat from the sun that has penetrated the atmosphere. Both the solar heat and the radiated heat are absorbed by the earth and released; some is reabsorbed by greenhouse gases to perpetuate the cycle. The more of these gases that exists, the more heat is prevented from escaping into space and, consequently, the more the earth heats. 

Some degree of greenhouse gases in our environment is only natural -- without the greenhouse effect our ecosystem would not be possible. Since the dawn of the industrial age in the 1750s, however, carbon dioxide alone has increased by 40%. Concerns about the greenhouse effect's contribution to global warming have prompted agreements between various governments on targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

While the same principle technically applies to an actual greenhouse, the effect is a small contributor to the structure’s total heat when compared with its prevention of heat loss through convection. In contrast, it is estimated that the greenhouse effect, both natural and man-made, raise the average temperature of the earth by thirty-three degrees Celsius.

See a video about the greenhouse effect:

This was last updated in November 2013

Continue Reading About greenhouse effect

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks to ...

  • data migration

    Data migration is the process of transferring data between data storage systems, data formats or computer systems.

  • compact disc (CD)

    A compact disc is a portable storage medium that can be used for recording, storing and playing back audio, video and other data ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close