How the Webb telescope could ultimately help protect Earth

The James Webb Space Telescope, the most complex and expensive space laboratory ever created, is less than two weeks away from its ultimate destination a million miles from Earth. Once it arrives, it will send information ...

Researchers find that iodine in desert dust destroys ozone

When winds loft fine desert dust high into the atmosphere, iodine in that dust can trigger chemical reactions that destroy some air pollution, but also let greenhouse gases stick around longer. The finding, published today ...

Climate cycles create California precipitation uncertainty

Over the past 40 years, winters in California have become drier. This is a problem for the region's agricultural operations, as farmers rely on winter precipitation to irrigate their crops. Determining if California will ...

Study: New German govt's plans fall short of climate goal

A research institute's analysis has concluded that the incoming German government's plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions are insufficient to put Germany on course to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Growing carbon footprint for plastics

Plastics are useful, cheap and extremely popular. Global demand has quadrupled in the last forty years and is expected to continue to rise, with correspondingly negative consequences for the environment and human health. ...

Six areas where action must focus to rescue this planet

For some time, the Earth's natural resources have been depleted faster than they can be replaced. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has set a 2030 deadline to reduce heat-trapping emissions by half to avoid climate ...

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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".

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA