Greenhouse effect: In the laboratory

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    As well as taking measurements in the Earth’s atmosphere, scientists have also investigated some components of the greenhouse effect in the laboratory. Scientific instruments can measure how much energy is absorbed at certain frequencies by different gases. Professor Frank James explains John Tyndall’s early climate experimentsin the 1850s. Tyndall declared that without greenhouse gases (such as water vapour and carbon dioxide) the Earth would be ‘held fast in the iron grip of frost’.