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Comparing Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming

Global warming is the change in the climate of the earth causing it to heat up whereas the greenhouse effect is a naturally occurring phenomena, constantly occurring due to the atmosphere and sunlight.

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Some of the solar rays reaching the earth’s atmosphere are emitted back into space, the rest is absorbable by the oceans and terrestrials which heat the Earth. This heat is trapped by some of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, warming the earth to sustain life. However, trapping extra heat causes the rise in temperature of the earth resulting in global warming. Global warming is the eventual heating of the earth’s surface, atmosphere, oceans which begins with the greenhouse effect.

Difference Between Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming

Although used interchangeably, global warming and greenhouse effects are altogether different aspects. Let us take a look at how different both are from each other.

Greenhouse Effect

Global Warming

What does it mean?

It is the heat which escapes in the space, the greenhouse gases block this escaping heat and hence it enters the earth

The earth gets overheated by greenhouse gases and fossil fuels leading to the greenhouse effect, which is global warming

Heat/Temperature aspect

It is how the atmosphere retains heat as the result of greenhouse gases

Increase in the average annual temperature globally


It is caused by atmospheric accumulation of gases (methane and carbon dioxide, etc) containing some heat emitted by the surface of earth.

It is caused by an increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere majorly contributed by human activities such as deforestation, burning of fossil fuels, etc.

All in all, both these terms – greenhouse effect and global warming, though closely associated, are different from each other where one is the cause and the other is the effect.

Stay tuned at BYJU’S for more on NEET and other differences between topics.

Read More:

MCQs on Greenhouse effect

Global warming and greenhouse effect – Facts

Greenhouse gases – names, sources and global warming


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