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greenhouse gases

Greenhouse Gases and Greenhouse Effect

Greenhouse gases (GHG) are a group of compounds that trap the heat in the atmosphere, keeping the Earth's surface warmer than it would be. These are gases which prevent the heat from escaping from the Earth. These are called green house gases. Increase in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere enhances the greenhouse effect which is the reason for global warming and consequently climate change.

There are two ways that a greenhouse gas can enter our atmosphere. While one of them is through natural processes like animal and plant respiration and the other is through human activities. The main human sources of greenhouse gas emissions are: fossil fuel use, intensive livestock farming, deforestation, use of synthetic fertilizers and industrial processes.

Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming

The greenhouse gases responsible for global warming are:

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is released in the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), trees, solid waste, and wood products, and also as a result of certain chemical reactions.

Methane

Production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil emits methane gas to the atmosphere.

Nitrous Oxide

Agricultural and industrial activities and combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste results in the release of nitrous oxide.  

Water Vapor

Water vapor is the most potent of the greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere but it cannot be directly modified by human behavior.

Surface level ozone

Surface O3 is a result of air pollution and is one of the notorious greenhouse gases.

How can we reduce greenhouse gases

These are some of the following ways by which greenhouse gases can be reduced:

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning
  • Drive Less and Drive Smart
  • Buy Energy-Efficient Products
  • Use the "Off" Switch
  • Plant a Tree   
  • Use Less Hot Water
  • Replace Your Light Bulbs

If we follow the above tips we can help save the Earth from greenhouse effect and global warming and make it a better place for future generations to come.

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