Greenhouse effect: A warming of the Earth's atmosphere caused by the presence in the atmosphere of certain heat-trapping gases (e.g., water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane). These gases absorb radiation emitted by the Earth, thereby retarding the loss of energy from the system to space.
The greenhouse effect has been a property of Earth's atmosphere for millions of years and is responsible for maintaining the Earth's surface at a temperature that makes it habitable for human beings. An Enhanced Greenhouse Effect is when the increased concentrations of these gases are "enhancing"
the natural greenhouse effect. It is the "enhanced greenhouse effect" that is expected to cause a large and rapid rise in average global temperatures. The greenhouse effect is an important component in the current climate change.
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