What are Greenhouse Gases?

Updated: Nov 30th, 2022

The greenhouse gases are the damaging gases coming primarily from our factories and our automobiles. They are the agents known to trap heat in our atmosphere, resulting in the warming of our planet..

Greenhouse gases are contained in the exhaust coming out of our automobiles everyday. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Greenhouse Gases

The gases ammonia, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and a class of gases collectively referred to as the ‘chlorofluorocarbons’, are the gases we call the greenhouse gases.

They are contained in the pollution coming out of our factories, and the exhaust coming out of our automobiles.

How does the Greenhouse Effect work?

When the sun’s energy strikes the surface of our planet, the energy reflects back up from the surface. But instead of just bouncing away and escaping into outer space, a small percentage of the energy gets retained by the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Because of this function, the greenhouse effect is actually a natural part of our evolving world. It’s critical for making life possible.

For example, if we did not have the greenhouse effect, the energy coming from the sun would simply bounce off our planet and escape into outer space, and in doing so, would leave our world far too cold for life to exist. Of course, a frozen planet would be very unhospitable! In this sense, we actually depend on the atmospheric greenhouse effect for our lives,- as well as for 100 percent of all of the life on our planet!

Unfortunately, when human activities add additional amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, beyond that which normally occurs as part of our natural environment, (which it has,- non-stop for years upon years),- it has the end result of the greenhouse effect being increased beyond its normal, natural range. This man-made increase is what we’re concerned about. This is the part that leads to global warming..

Most scientists agree that human activity became the dominant cause of global warming in the time period after the industrial revolution.. Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Global Warming or Climate Change?


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