When solar energy reaches the earth, some of it is reflected away back into space and some of it penetrates the atmosphere. Most of the energy released by the sun is in the form of short-wave energy. That short-wave energy is absorbed by the earth’s surface, then reradiated as heat or long-wave energy. The long-wave energy is trapped by the greenhouse gases because it cannot penetrate them. So this energy simply remains in the atmosphere, trapping the heat inside.
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