The greenhouse effect is created because certain gases sent into our atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, allow radiation from the sun to pass through the earth’s atmosphere, but prevent a portion of the infrared radiation from the earth’s surface and lower atmosphere from escaping into outer space. This process occurs naturally; without it our planet’s temperatures would be about 60° cooler! Life as we know it simply would not exist without the natural greenhouse effect. However, global warming is happening because the greenhouse effect has become intensified primarily by the burning of fossil fuels, which adds more carbon dioxide and other gases to the atmosphere and increases the warming process.