Humans may be reversing the climate clock, by 50 million years

Our future on Earth may also be our past. In a study published Monday (Dec. 10, 2018) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers show that humans are reversing a long-term cooling trend tracing back ...

Planet now at risk of heading toward 'hothouse Earth' state

Keeping global warming to within 1.5-2 degrees C may be more difficult than previously assessed, according to researchers. An international team of scientists has published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy ...

Ancient pigment can boost energy efficiency

A color developed by Egyptians thousands of years ago has a modern-day application as well – the pigment can boost energy efficiency by cooling rooftops and walls, and could also enable solar generation of electricity via ...

2018-2022 expected to be abnormally hot years

This summer's worldwide heatwave makes 2018 a particularly hot year. And the next few years will be similar, according to a study led by Florian Sévellec, a CNRS researcher at the Laboratory for Ocean Physics and Remote ...

Degrading plastics revealed as source of greenhouse gases

Researchers from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) discovered that several greenhouse gases are emitted as common plastics degrade in the environment.

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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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