What is the relationship between global warming and the greenhouse effect?

2 Answers
Jan 31, 2017

The greenhouse effect is a natural process traps heat in the atmosphere - global warming tends to be when additional greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere and this causes a warming event.


The natural greenhouse effect has operated on the planet for over 4 billion years and is one of the reasons life could evolve on Earth - it basically made the planet habitable. This was because with a strong enough greenhouse effect, the planet was warm enough to form liquid water. Once there was liquid water and other essential biochemicals, life could begin to evolve.

Global warming events have occurred in the geological past when greenhouse gases like CO2 or methane get released into the atmosphere and essential boost the natural greenhouse effect beyond its normal range (usually from volcanic eruptions). The current global warming event is due almost entirely to human burning of fossil fuels with the concurrent release of greenhouse gases. This in turn is boosting the natural greenhouse effect and the planet is warming.

When the green house gases like carbon di oxide, methane increases, the heat is trapped in earth's atmosphere.


The light coming from Sun to earth gets reflected back..But the atmosphere with the green house gases block them..THis increases the temperatureenter image source here of atmosphere and leads to global warming.
picture credit royal society.