Greenhouse effect

A thermal phenomenon that affects several planets, including Earth, whereby some solar radiation passes through the atmosphere and reaches the surface. The surface heats up and releases infrared radiation, some of which is absorbed by the atmosphere. Although the process is essential to ensure a temperature favourable to life, an increase in the amount of certain so-called "greenhouse" gases, such as CO2, in the atmosphere contributes to higher temperatures. Global warming and its immediate consequences, such as ice-cap melting, are a direct result.