Green House Gases

By: Madeline Ellingson

What are green house gases?

Green house gases are gases that allow direct sunlight to pass through them without being changed in anyway. Green house gases absorb infrared radiation which traps heat. When the light and radiation is redirected back to space, the green house gases stop them from escaping, making the Earth hotter. Carbon dioxide is a green house gas, but this gas occurs naturally. Methane, water vapor, and nitrous oxide also occur naturally. Other gases such as chlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, Per-fluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride are man made.
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How Do Greenhouse Gases Actually Work?

What Is the Cause Of Green House Gases

Green house gases are formed from the release of carbon dioxide in the air. The biggest contributors to this are deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels. Deforestation is when you remove or get rid of all plants such as trees to make the land available for other uses such as agriculture and housing. The trees are also sold and turned into lumber. Deforestation tears up soil and releases carbon into the air. This carbon then mixes with oxygen creating carbon dioxide. Then the carbon dioxide moves into the atmosphere creating green house gases. Burning fossil fuels also releases carbon into the air. Fossil fuels are dead plant and animal matter that is condensed into crude oil, natural gas, coal, and heavy oil. Coal burned in power plants and cars driving down the road use fossil fuel to create energy. Any fossil fuel when burned will release carbon. Burning fossil fuels is the largest source of carbon dioxide the the atmosphere.
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How Do Green House Gases Effect You

Green house gases trap heat in the lower atmosphere, causing the temperature of Earth's surface to rise. This effect is also known as global warming. Climate change can effect how we grow plants, and what plants we can grow. Climate change can also effect the animals that live around us. Two types of green house gases are feedback and forcing. Water vapor is the most abundant green house gas in our atmosphere. When there is more water vapor in the air the Earths surface gets hotter. It also causes more clouds and precipitation this is known as a feedback. Other gases just as carbon dioxide have a negative feedback. These gases are known as forcing. Forcing gases don't change in any way. They also force other things to change, such as the environment. One example of a forcing gas is carbon dioxide.
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How Can You Prevent Green House Gases

One way you can reduce green house gases is reduce, reuse, recycle. If you buy products with little packaging or recycling can stop 2,500 pounds of carbon dioxide from reaching the atmosphere each year. If you add insulation to your walls and install weather stripping or caulking to your windows you can reduce your energy use from heating and cooling by 25%. This stops 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. Driving less can also reduce carbon dioxide. Cars put our 20 pounds of carbon dioxide for every mile. you can try local transit or car pooling instead. This is just a few of the ways to stop carbon dioxide from reaching our atmosphere.
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