By Joseph E. Postma (M.Sc. Astrophysics, Honours B.Sc. Astronomy)
This article began as a brief two-page summary of the theoretical development of the “Greenhouse Effect”. After having several discussions with colleagues, it became apparent that its theoretical basis was not widely understood, even though the theory appeared to be believed in implicitly. In a scientific institution it is generally expected that individuals understand the theories they support and believe in, rather than simply being aware of them and believing in them. Therefore it was curious that there seemed to be so little academic understanding of the theory of the Greenhouse Effect, as opposed to simple awareness of it.