Heol: what does the greenhouse effect mean? – Héol’s advice

The observation is clear: the climate is changing and is having unprecedented consequences on ecosystems, access to energy, water, geostrategic balances, population movements, etc.

Two questions arise: what is climate change and what does the greenhouse effect mean?

Climate change is defined by the variation in the average values ​​of meteorological parameters (precipitation, temperature, etc.) measured over long periods (at least 30 years) and over vast geographical areas.

The greenhouse effect, a phenomenon of natural origin

The greenhouse effect, on the other hand, is a phenomenon of natural origin. While part of the solar energy that reaches the Earth is sent back into space, another part is retained by gases present in the atmosphere: we speak of infrared rays, which maintain the temperature on Earth at a average about 15°C. Without them, it would rather be around -18°C and prevent life from developing.

The main greenhouse gases are water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane. There are others and their impact on global warming varies according to their lifespan and the way they capture infrared rays.

Unfortunately, greenhouse gas emissions – due in particular to human activity – have increased sharply since the industrial revolution in the middle of the 19th century; a phenomenon which has increased in recent decades and which is causing profound changes on our planet and on life in general.


Heol, the local energy and climate agency, offers neutral and free advice for construction, renovation and renewable energy projects. Permanence guaranteed Monday to Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. by telephone on 02 98 15 18 08 and by appointment at 47, rue de Brest in Morlaix. More information on www.heol-energies.org

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