On a warm, sunny day, a car is parked along a street where there is no shade. The car’s windows are closed. The air inside the car becomes noticeably warmer than the air outside. What factors contribute to the higher temperature?
This is College Physics Answers with Shaun Dychko. This question is asking us to explain the greenhouse effect. So we have this car parked on a street with no shade in the Sun and the windows are closed so step one is that solar radiation enters the car through the windows and solar radiation tends to pass through air fairly easily and so it will pass through air and through the window but then it'll hit the material in the car like the upholstery and the body inside the car and when it does that, it gets absorbed largely and then that material will warm up as a result and that warm material will in turn heat the air that's in the car and this air that's in the car that just got heated has blocked from conducting with air outside the car because of the windows and the car body and it's also blocked from convection because the car is sealed and meanwhile, more radiation is entering the car and heating up the material in the car which in turn heats the air further and its temperature rises and rises and it will keep rising until finally there's an equilibrium reached when the air gets so warm that it expands to the point where the pressure inside is enough to push some of it out through the gaps around the doors and windows and also the temperature difference between air inside and outside will be so great that there will be enough thermal conduction due to such a high temperature difference between the inside and outside.