Best Answer

A runaway greenhouse effect (sometimes called an abrupt greenhouse effect) happened on Venus, where positive feedbacks caused the atmosphere to grow warmer and warmer until the oceans boiled away. All the oceans boiled into steam in the atmosphere and the water vapor (H2O) broke into hydrogen (H) and oxygen O2). The hydrogen escaped into space and the oxygen recombined, usually forming carbon dioxide. Venus' atmosphere is now 96% carbon dioxide and the temperature at its surface is 467°C (872°F).

A positive feedback occurs on earth with the ice caps. White ice caps reflect the sun's heat, so the earth stays a bit cooler. This is called the albedo effect. But if other things happen and the ice melts, then the land underneath is dark and does NOT reflect the sun's heat. Instead it absorbs it, and the earth gets hotter. (The earth getting hotter makes the earth get hotter still!)

Another positive feedback on earth is the frozen tundra. As the earth warms, the frozen tundra thaws. As the tundra thaws it releases methane gas, a powerful greenhouse gas. The methane gas adds to the greenhouse gases and makes the earth warmer. (The earth getting hotter releases methane making the earth hotter still!)

Earth does not have a runaway greenhouse effect. Earth has an enhanced, or accelerated greenhouse effect, but scientists are fairly confident that our positive feedbacks will never be strong enough to cause a runaway greenhouse effect.

User Avatar

Wiki User

โˆ™ 2011-07-12 10:29:22
This answer is:
User Avatar
Study guides

What resources do you have today that affect the economy positively

What prominent sea floor feature is found in the central Atlantic ocean

Why are fossils found were no ocean exist

What causes greenhouse gasses

See all cards
10 Reviews

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: What is a runaway greenhouse effect?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

Does Uranus have a runaway greenhouse effect?


What will a runaway greenhouse effect do to the Earth?

A runaway greenhouse effect has not been clearly defined. There was a runaway greenhouse effect on Venus, where positive feedback increased its greenhouse effect till the oceans boiled dry.A runaway greenhouse effect like that would mean the end of all life on the planet.The InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) hardly mentions it. One of the few times it does, it says, in Session 31, "a runaway greenhouse effect" - analogous to Venus - appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by anthropogenic activities."There is no runaway greenhouse effect on earth. There is an "accelerated" greenhouse effect, which we are trying to slow, stop and reverse.

Known for its runaway greenhouse effect?


Which planet is dominated by a Greenhouse effect?

Venus has a runaway greenhouse effect that has boiled its oceans dry.

Is the planet that features the runaway greenhouse effect.?


What planet has a moderate greenhouse effect?

Earth is the only planet with a moderate greenhouse effect. Venus has a runaway effect, and Mars has a very weak effect.

Which planet has an extreme greenhouse effect?

Venus has an extreme (runaway) greenhouse effect. The oceans there boiled dry long ago.

Due to a runaway greenhouse affect what planet has a high temperature affect?

Venus is the hot planet with the runaway greenhouse effect. its oceans have boiled dry.

What planet in our solar system features the runaway greenhouse effect?


Which planet has high temperatures due to the runaway greenhouse effect?

venus :)

What planet in our solar system features runaway greenhouse effect?


Which planet is the hottest due to the greenhouse effect gone wild?

Venus has a runaway greenhouse effect. Its seas have now boiled dry!

People also asked