Size matters—if you are a bubble of volcanic gas

The chemical composition of gases emitted from volcanoes—which are used to monitor changes in volcanic activity—can change depending on the size of gas bubbles rising to the surface, and relate to the way in which they ...

Can China keep its climate promises?

China can easily meet its Paris climate pledge to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, but sourcing 20 percent of its energy needs from renewables and nuclear power by that date may be considerably harder, researchers ...

Ocean sink for man-made CO2 measured

An international research project led by scientists from ETH Zurich has determined the amount of man-made CO2 emissions taken up by the ocean between 1994 and 2007. Not all of the CO2 generated during the combustion of fossil ...

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Greenhouse gas

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, and ozone. In our 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 be on average about 33°C (59°F) colder than at present.

Human activities since the start of the industrial era around 1750 have increased the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The 2007 assessment report compiled by the IPCC observed that "changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols, land cover and solar radiation alter the energy balance of the climate system", and concluded that "increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations is very likely to have caused most of the increases in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century".

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