Everyone might know what a greenhouse effect is, a greenhouse effect is a phenomenon by which the earth keeps itself warmer and prevent rapid cooling. The Greenhouse effect is the process by which the radiation from the sun keeps the planet warmer by trapping the light with the help of various gasses. When the Sun radiates its energy, half of the energy is reflected back to the atmosphere; half of it is absorbed by the clouds and other particles present there and the remaining light is transmitted to the Earth’s surface. The part of this radiation that is directed towards the surface, tends to warm up the surface. This traffic off the heat by the earth’s atmosphere keeps it warm and it depends on the number of greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere.


The ‘Anti-Greenhouse Effect’ is just opposite to what the Greenhouse effect is. We can say that an Anti-greenhouse effect is a mechanism just similar to the greenhouse effect, but with the opposite effect. This means that an anti-greenhouse effect causes the cooling of the surface temperature of a planet. This happens when the gases present in the atmosphere has a lower ability to transmit observe the solar radiation. Many planetary bodies show the greenhouse effect including Earth but there are also some planets that show an effect that is entirely opposite to the greenhouse effect which we stated above as an Anti-greenhouse effect. For example, in our Solar System, the planets Mars and Venus show the Green House Effect, but Titan which is said to be the largest planet of Saturn and Pluto shows the opposite phenomena called Anti-Green House Effect. In the anti-greenhouse effect, the atmosphere acts as an opaque (a body that does not allow light to pass through i.e. not transparent) to the incoming solar radiation but allows infrared radiation.


The effect of this is only that the body (here planet) is cooler than the actual temperature which would have been if the Anti-greenhouse effect would not have been there. Some studies said that in the case of Titan, both Green House Effect and Anti Green House Effect have been observed and proved their existence. Due to the Green House Effect, the temperature goes up; while due to the Anti-Green House effect taking place, the temperature goes down.

Unlike the ordinary Greenhouse Gases which are used to increase the global temperature of our Planet earth’s outer surface, the anti-greenhouse gasses work against them and are used to cool the inner portion of our planet earth. There are not many known anti-greenhouse gasses and what is their effect on the environment is not well explained. But the only thing known completely is the way these gasses work is completely different from the way greenhouse gasses work. Talking about our planet earth or any other planet there is always an equilibrium state between the energy that the earth receives from its parent star (for us that is the sun) and the energy it disperses back into space. Some planets have also a mechanism for heating the internal surface by using some internal source of heat. The only difference between a greenhouse and an anti-greenhouse effect is in the form in which this energy moves.


A surface on earth generally receives 3 types of radiation from the sun and these are infrared, visible, and ultraviolet radiations and all three of them have different wavelengths in which they work. The only difference is that both the atmosphere and the surface changes some part of visible and ultraviolet light into the infrared.

Greenhouse gasses mainly do 2 things: they reflect infrared incident light from the source back to the atmosphere and then reflect the infrared waves from the planet to the surface. The stronger the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the more infrared light remains trapped in the earth’s atmosphere and hence the less is radiated back. The surface and atmosphere warm up by this phenomenon until a new equilibrium is reached, but the percent of the heat that is radiated from the heat of the atmosphere remains constant.


The Anti-greenhouse technologies work in two different ways i.e. they reflect infrared energy waves from the star or the source to reach the surface and thus preventing it from heating for a short period or they reflect a part of the incoming visible or ultraviolet light which could cause the heating of the surface by getting transformed into infrared on the surface. Some gasses even have the ability to work on their own.

Anti-greenhouse gasses just like other greenhouses gases have some major problems. They are short-lived and need to be renewed daily or even every year, which results in high maintenance costs for them. Some of them can have hazardous effects such as they can deplete ozone layers or may also cause acid rains. In uncontrolled conditions, the gasses or effects create by them can generate the opposite, the opposite is what we normally call a greenhouse effect. Also, there is a huge risk that these gasses can cool down the earth to such a level that it can send a planet into an ice age. Ice reflects much more light (ice shows 80-90% albedo) and when a surface gets covered with ice, it will stay cooler for a longer time period.

The remains from volcanic explosions or extra-terrestrial (related to vegetation) impacts also temporarily scatter the solar light and acts as an anti-greenhouse agent. But the gases, mainly sulfur dioxide, that is eventually produced by some of the other occurrences work as greenhouse agents, that let in the solar light and reflects infrared radiation back to space keeling earth cooler.

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