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Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect is the heating of the surface of the Earth due to the presence of an atmosphere containing greenhouse gases (GHG) (carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrochlorofluorocarbons [HCFCs]) that absorb and emit long-wave (heat) radiation. Without the effect, the Earth’s average temperature would be -19°C, rather than 15°C, and the effect is natural. However, human activity is exacerbating the effect, causing global warming by increasing the amount of GHG in the atmosphere.

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IEMA is the membership body for environment and sustainability professionals