The Dictionary of the Climate Debate (DCD)

greenhouse effect
Definition: (Aka. GHE) The heating of a planet that is caused by atmospheric gases that trap the sun's heat.

Without the greenhouse effect (and an atmosphere), the Earth's average surface temperature (which is presently 15 °C) could be as low as -18 °C.

1. The phenomenon was discovered by Joseph Fourier in 1824.

2. The term's first Oxford English Dictionary citation is from 1937: (from G. T. Trewartha, Introduction to Weather and Climate, i. 25): "The so-called greenhouse effect of the atmosphere."

3. Click here to read an excellent, concise summary of basic GHE principles by Real Climate's Rasmus Benestad.

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