Greenhouse Gas

A greenhouse gas (sometimes abbreviated GHG) is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. In the Solar System, the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, and Titan also contain gases that cause greenhouse effects. Greenhouse gases greatly affect the temperature of the Earth; without them, Earth's surface would average about 33°C colder than the present average of 14 °C (57 °F).

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to a 40% increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 280 ppm to 400 ppm, despite the uptake of a large portion of the emissions by various natural "sinks" involved in the carbon cycle. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (i.e., emissions produced by human activities) come from combustion of carbon based fuels, principally wood, coal, oil, and natural gas.

Read more about Greenhouse Gas:  Impacts On The Overall Greenhouse Effect, Natural and Anthropogenic Sources, Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gases, Role of Water Vapor, Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Life-cycle Greenhouse-gas Emissions of Energy Sources, History of Scientific Research, See Also

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Famous quotes containing the words gas and/or greenhouse:

    Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
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    I heard a Negro play.

    Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
    By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
    Langston Hughes (1902–1967)

    There is not enough exercise in this way of life. I try to make up by active gymnastics before I dress when I get up, by walking rapidly in the lower hall and the greenhouse after each meal for perhaps five to ten minutes, and a good hand rubbing before going to bed. I eat moderately; drink one cup of coffee at breakfast and one cup of tea at lunch and no other stimulant. My health is now, and usually, excellent.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893)