The Cause and Effects of Air Pollution
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XI. GREENHOUSE EFFECT
The short wavelength radiation from the sun can penetrate the atmosphere, but the long wavelength radiation from the earth cannot and so is trapped heating the atmosphere. This is similar to the way the glass in a greenhouse was thought to let the short-wavelength radiation from the interior of the warm greenhouse.
(figure available in print form)
The greenhouse effect keeps the average temperature of the earth’s surface about 35°C (63°F) warmer than it would be without it. It is also reason the troposphere is heated from below.