ELI5: If the planet is getting too warm, but space is freezing cold, why can’t we just “vent” some excess heat into space?

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That’s basically what the greenhouse effect prevents from happening. Earth emits light (which carries some energy) away. However, more of this is getting trapped by CO2 in the atmosphere and, thus, less heat is getting transferred to space. Beyond ensuring there are fewer greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, there’s not much we can really do to control how much light the Earth radiates into space and there isn’t really another mechanism by which the Earth, as a system, loses much energy.


Our planet constantly vents heat into space. It does this by emitting light in the infrared range. Greenhouse gases trap that heat and prevent the light from escaping. There’s no other way of doing it that we humans might be able to conjure. Our planet is hot and the only way to get rid of heat efficiently is being blocked by our emissions.


We do. Virtually all of the heat Earth receives from the Sun is re-radiated out to space. But radiation is inefficient at lowish temperatures such as the Earth’s surface; that’s why thermos bottles work.


The Earth already radiates heat into space. If it didn’t it would vaporize because it’s always absorbing heat from the Sun. Greenhouse gasses are the thing that interferes with the radiating of heat into space in the first place.


Space isn’t freezing cold. It’s mostly no temperature as temperature is a measure of the movement of atoms and molecules. Vaccum has none if those. That’s why thermoses use a vaccum as insulation. You cant just release the heat without also releasing some of the matter and we should probably keep our atmosphere where it is. Edit: and I cant think of a way to increase our radiant heat loss.