The greenhouse effect is a natural process that warms the Earth’s surface. When the Sun’s energy reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, some of it is reflected back to space and the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases thereby warming the Earth enough to support life.
Greenhouse gases include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and some artificial chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
The rapid increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere has led to the enhanced greenhouse effect, which is when too much heat is trapped on Earth, resulting in an overall increase in global temperatures. Rising temperatures on Earth have produced severe changes in weather patterns, such as hotter summers, colder winters and stronger storms, like hurricanes and tornadoes. Increasing global temperature will also lead to a rise in sea levels as the glaciers and polar ice caps melt.