The Greenhouse Effect
The exception to Earth’s temperature being in balance is caused by greenhouse gases. But first the role of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere must be explained.
Greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere by trapping heat. Some of the heat that radiates out from the ground is trapped by greenhouse gases in the troposphere. Like a blanket on a sleeping person, greenhouse gases act as insulation for the planet. The warming of the atmosphere because of insulation by greenhouse gases is called the greenhouse effect . Greenhouse gases are the component of the atmosphere that moderate Earth’s temperatures.
Greenhouse gases include CO2, H2O, methane, O3, nitrous oxides (NO and NO2), and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
Tropospheric greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere; greenhouse gases vary in their heat-trapping abilities.
Levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are increasing due to human activities.