# Greenhouse Effect: How Does it Impact Earth's Temperature?

## How does the naturally occurring greenhouse effect affect Earth's temperature?

According to scientists, the naturally occurring greenhouse effect makes Earth about 31∘C warmer than it would be if there were no greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. How do scientists "know" what Earth's temperature would be without greenhouse gases?

## Answer:

Scientists estimate the Earth's temperature **without **greenhouse gases using mathematical models based on physical laws such as thermodynamics and radiative transfer. The key concept in this model is the Stefan-Boltzmann law. From these calculations, the greenhouse effect makes the Earth about 33 degrees Celsius warmer than it would be without greenhouse gases.

Scientists estimate the Earth's temperature without greenhouse gases using mathematical models and equations based on the laws of physics, particularly thermodynamics and radiative transfer. They start by knowing the amount of solar energy the Earth receives and determining how much of that would be reflected back into space if there were no greenhouse gases. This is called the Earth's albedo. The rest of the energy would be absorbed by the Earth and re-emitted as heat in a process known as blackbody radiation.

A key concept in this model is the Stefan-Boltzmann law, which describes the relationship between an object's temperature and the radiation it emits. The model assumes the Earth is in a state of energy balance - the energy it absorbs from the sun is equal to the energy it radiates back into space. From this, they can calculate the expected Earth's temperature.

By this method, scientists estimate the Earth would average about -18 degrees Celsius if there were no greenhouse gases, compared to the current average of 15 degrees Celsius. Therefore, the naturally occurring greenhouse effect makes the Earth about 33 degrees Celsius warmer.