The Greenhouse Effect is Good

Really. Without it, we would all be dead.

The greenhouse effect helps regulate the temperature of our planet. It is essential for life on Earth. Without it, we'd all be popsicles. The temperature of the Earth would be about 32 degrees below freezing -- zero degrees Fahrenheit!

What is the greenhouse effect? Heat from the sun is absorbed by water vapor, carbon dioxide and trace gases. These heated gases then radiate heat back to the planet's surface.

The term, "greenhouse effect" is misleading because a real greenhouse does not behave like the atmosphere. A greenhouse warms like a blanket, suppressing the exchange of air between the inside and outside--this isn't how the atmosphere keeps the Earth warm. The atmosphere doesn't suppress heat exchange, it helps it.

Our concern isn't that we have a greenhouse effect, but whether it's increasing so much that it is hurting the Earth, our only refuge in the cold universe.



Unknown said…
Good to hear some real debate,there has been a far to simplistic view on heating and cooling. The total absence of convection as a major cause(of heating & cooling) in the climate debate we haven`t had yet reminds me of a good or bad salesmen,it`s what they don`t mention that you have to watch out for,as the slight of hand that you don`t notice as the magician highlights something else.Convection is the greatest cause of climate regulation and after all that is what we are after.Convection has many wonderful aspects,it`s a self regulating system governed by the very thing we don`t want.As in many systems of energy flow there is a source and a sink,they both have a equally strong influence,the source being the heat trapped and the sink being the temperature of the upper atmosphere.This temperature is very low and very constant and this fact has a pegging influence on the entire system.The self regulating system is governed by and driven by one major factor only,the higher temperatures, that being the case higher temperatures will led to cooling,the greater the temperature the greater the cooling there for no problem,no runaway effect.This phenomena is also the energy behind the hydrological cycle.However there is one thing and one thing only that can hinder this process,the lack of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.With out greenhouse gases there is very little heating and even less heat retention,no this is not good these are the very conditions that create a desert not a temperature regulated paradise with plenty of rain the latter is the result of plenty of greenhouse gases.Thank you for your patience
Unknown said…
how do you know this? greenhouse gasses are causing huge climate change on the earth and NOTHING has given evidence that without them we would be frozen popsicles. unless you can give me a credible website that proves your claim, then I don't believe you. there are so many credible websites proving that our BAD climate change is from greenhouse gasses that we use for energy.
Anonymous said…
Phoenix, the evidence is all around us. surface Temperatures on planets with no atmosphere vary wildly from day to night. Give this a read:

What no one seems to be talking about is that a cold planet is a dead planet.
millions of years ago, CO2 levels were MUCH higher than they are now. what do you do when you
want a plant to thrive? give it water and co2. millions of years ago, plants grew to astounding sizes due to a warm, wet, co2 rich environment. This gave animals abundant food sources.

If you think lowering CO2 levels and cooling the planet will be helpful to life on earth, you're sorely mistaken.

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