Last reviewed:May 2018
Show previous versions
- Greenhouse gas increases
- Radiative forcing
- Natural fluxes
- Global warming and climate change
- Consequences of global warming
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The rise in the surface temperature of the Earth caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although carbon dioxide (CO2) is only the fourth most abundant gas in the atmosphere, it is vitally important in maintaining the Earth's surface temperature. Along with water vapor, CO2 absorbs infrared (long-wave) radiation given off by the Earth, and reradiates this energy back to the Earth's surface, keeping our planet much warmer [average surface temperature of 15°C (59°F)]) than it would be otherwise. This trapping of incoming solar radiation is known as the greenhouse effect. See also: Atmosphere; Carbon dioxide; Greenhouse effect
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information