Definition of greenhouse effect in US English:

greenhouse effect

noun

  • The trapping of the sun's warmth in a planet's lower atmosphere, due to the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun than to infrared radiation emitted from the planet's surface.

    It is theorized that on earth the increasing quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, together with the release of other gases, is causing an increased greenhouse effect and leading to global warming. A greenhouse effect involving CO₂ is also responsible for the very high surface temperature of Venus. See also global warming

    • ‘Scientists predict that this increase may enhance the greenhouse effect making the planet warmer.’
    • ‘The first person to predict the greenhouse effect was a Swedish chemist named Svante Arrhenius.’
    • ‘The greenhouse effect is important to life on Earth, without it the Earth would be far too cold for us.’
    • ‘A stronger greenhouse effect will probably warm the oceans and partially melt glaciers and other ice, increasing sea levels.’
    • ‘The problem is that we are increasing the greenhouse effect, and this is likely to change the earth's climate.’

Pronunciation

greenhouse effect

/ˈɡrinhaʊs əˌfɛkt//ˈɡrēnhous əˌfekt/