Wetlands Australia Journal, Vol 10, No 1 (1990)

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A Guide to the Greenhouse effect

A Henderson-Sellers


The ‘greenhouse effect’ is the best, most fully established theory in atmospheric science. It is this well-understood, greenhouse effect that keeps the Venus surface hot enough to bake potatoes out in the open while the lack of all but a very thin greenhouse makes the Martian surface resemble a very effective commercial deep freeze! Scientists predicted these temperatures with models before spacecraft measured them. The same models predict a warming for the Earth of between 3 and 4 degrees C by 2030.

We understood radiative transfer very well. The theory is based on sound physics and as far as we know there is no antidote within the natural Earth system – except ofcourse to remove the gases from the atmosphere again. This is a very costly process; such a costly antidote to warming is not, in my opinion, something which we are likely to see.

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