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 resulting greenhouse effect, accelerated since the Industrial Revolution, is the catalyst for climate disasters that have cost many human lives and billions of dollars in damage. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 5 Apr. 2022 The gas contributes to the greenhouse effect, trapping heat and warming the planet. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Mar. 2022 Conversely, the destabilization of deposits of methane gas, which has a greenhouse effect significantly more potent than that of carbon dioxide, has led to the periodic broiling of the planet. Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2021 That’s because methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, has a much stronger greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Nov. 2021 Post-Climapocalyptics - since 1973 with Soylent Green, the ‘greenhouse effect’ has been useful fodder for movie dystopias. Solitaire Townsend, Forbes, 2 Jan. 2022 That’s on top of the extra warming that would have been caused by the greenhouse effect directly produced by CFCs in the atmosphere. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, 20 Aug. 2021 The latest update shows 2021 setting a new record high, as heat trapped by a strengthening greenhouse effect inexorably accumulates in Earth’s oceans. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, 13 Jan. 2022 Developing peatlands in rainforests also leads to widespread deforestation, which only worsens the greenhouse effect. Washington Post, 16 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

greenhouse gas

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Last Updated

17 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Greenhouse effect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for greenhouse effect

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

More from Merriam-Webster on greenhouse effect

Nglish: Translation of greenhouse effect for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about greenhouse effect


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