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"The Parked Car Effect" Featured

Since few people actually spend much time in greenhouses, perhaps we should call it 'The Parked Car Effect.' We all know what happens when you park your car in the hot sun with the windows closed.

Light enters, hits the upholstery, which heats up and warms the interior air. But the heat can't escape, so the interior just gets hotter and hotter. Hot enough to kill.

Notes:   The actual mechanism of overheating in greenhouses and cars is lack of convection, rather than absorption and scattering of infrared radition.    But the result is the same:   light goes in, is absorbed by surfaces which radiate back heat that cannot escape.  

The interior of a car on a hot summer day can reach 78 C (17O+ F).    The light "checks in" but the heat can't "check out."     See Kids in Hot Cars.

Image source:  Kids in Hot Cars

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Bite Details

Submitted by
Tom Smerling
Created
2011-08-23