Why do greenhouse gases let solar rays in but not out?



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    The greenhouse gases responsible for trapping the sun’s heat and warming the surface temperature of the earth absorb some of the infared energy radiated back from the earth. Some of this energy still escapes back into space, but the more greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere, the more of this energy that is absorbed, retaining heat in the process. The sunlight responsible for heating the earth’s land and ocean surfaces has different properties than this infared energy radiated back, which is why it passes through initially.

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