greenhouse effect


Definition of greenhouse effect 

: warming of the surface and lower atmosphere of a planet (such as Earth or Venus) that is caused by conversion of solar radiation into heat in a process involving selective transmission of short wave solar radiation by the atmosphere, its absorption by the planet's surface, and reradiation as infrared which is absorbed and partly reradiated back to the surface by atmospheric gases

Examples of greenhouse effect in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The air inside a vehicle can jump that much in a matter of minutes, even if the windows are partially open, because the windshield has a greenhouse effect. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Kansas removes lawsuit fear for rescuers of children, pets trapped in hot cars," 25 June 2018 Scientific evidence indicates that as carbon dioxide continues to increase in the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect causes temperatures to rise, seawater will expand, and therefore water levels will rise. Dave Epstein,, "Tidal flooding is expected to become more routine as sea levels rise," 16 June 2018 Volcanic gases, especially CO2, just built up in the air until the resulting greenhouse effect warmed the planet enough to melt the ice. Scott Denning, Washington Post, "May the 4th be with Earth, a perfect planet that’s not too Hoth or Tatooine," 4 May 2018 Going greenhouse Half of the judge’s questions relate to how the greenhouse effect actually works. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Ars answers a federal judge’s questions about climate change," 19 Mar. 2018 Elon's goal with Mars is to find a way to speed up the greenhouse effect, heat up the planet and grow vegetation, possibly by launching nuclear warheads at the poles. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: Cincinnati Reds prospect Nick Senzel should be playing," 11 Apr. 2018 Our atmosphere’s greenhouse effect similarly lets sunlight (mainly in the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum) reach the Earth’s surface to warm it but absorbs the infrared radiation our planet emits back to space. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Ars answers a federal judge’s questions about climate change," 19 Mar. 2018 Another important calculation was made in the new study to estimate the extent of the greenhouse effect on the TRAPPIST-1 planets. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "TRAPPIST-1 Planets Could Have Substantial Surface Water," 24 Jan. 2018 But Earth’s greenhouse effect isn’t a perfect seal. Joseph Dussault, The Christian Science Monitor, "Using outer space to help cool buildings on Earth," 2 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'greenhouse effect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of greenhouse effect

1907, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of greenhouse effect was in 1907

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greenhouse effect


Kids Definition of greenhouse effect

: warming of the lower atmosphere of the earth that occurs when radiation from the sun is absorbed by the earth and then given off again and absorbed by carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere

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