The Greenhouse Effect
The sun emits short, high-energy wavelengths: visible light and ultraviolet radiation. Earth absorbs this energy and emits it as long-wave, or infrared, radiation.

While we’ve heard the analogy that carbon dioxide is like a blanket—wrapping the Earth’s atmosphere and trapping heat—in the long run the “how” of global warming changes, according to new research by scientists here at UW and at MIT. As the planet’s ice melts, and its warmer air carries more water, it will absorb more solar radiation than would have otherwise bounced off of clouds, ice, or snow. In this way, global warming is more like tanning oil over the long term!

Read more at UW Today »