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VICTOR DE SCHWANBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VICTOR DE SCHWANBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Greenhouse effect. Conceptual image of infrared rays (red arrows) trapped in the Earth's atmosphere by greenhouse gases such as water vapour and carbon dioxide. The Earth's surface heats up due to the energy of light from the Sun. Greenhouse gases help retain this heat, because they absorb energy radiated away as infrared rays from the Earth's surface, and re-radiate most of this energy back to the Earth. An increase in greenhouse gases, due to excessive production by humans, is causing global temperatures to rise.
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