Greenhouse gases are gases in an atmosphere that absorb and emit
radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental
cause of the greenhouse effect. Common greenhouse gases in the Earth's
atmosphere include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide,
ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons.
In our solar system, the atmospheres of Venus, Mars and Titan also contain
gases that cause greenhouse effects.
Greenhouse gases, mainly water vapor, are essential to helping determine
the temperature of the Earth; without them this planet would likely be so cold
as to be uninhabitable.
In order, Earth's most abundant greenhouse gases are:
When these gases are ranked by their contribution to the greenhouse effect,
- water vapor
- carbon dioxide
- nitrous oxide
the most important are:
- water vapor, which contributes 36-72%
- carbon dioxide, which contributes 9-26%
- methane, which contributes 4-9%
- ozone, which contributes 3-7%
Where are greenhouse gases coming from and how have they changed?
Many greenhouse gases, like water vapor and carbon dioxide (CO2), occur
naturally. Fuel burning and other human activities are adding large amounts of
carbon dioxide and other gases to the natural mix at a faster rate than at any
other time on record.
What can you do at home to reduce Greenhouse Gases?
What you can do on the Road to reduce Greenhouse Gases?