Tropical Pacific variability key for successful climate forecasts

The warming of the Earth by the human-caused greenhouse effect is progressing. But predictions for the next decades still show relatively large uncertainties. A German-Australian research team headed by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre ...

Satellites yield insight into not so permanent permafrost

Ice is without doubt one of the first casualties of climate change, but the effects of our warming world are not only limited to ice melting on Earth's surface. Ground that has been frozen for thousands of years is also thawing, ...

Most EU countries cut CO2 emissions last year: estimates

Most European Union countries reduced carbon dioxide emissions last year, estimates showed Wednesday, marking a turnaround in the battle against greenhouse gases as campaigners urged faster action to avoid the most damaging ...

Markets missing fossil fuel exposure to climate risk: analysis

Investors are overlooking the long-term risks climate change poses to oil and gas infrastructure firms, which face tens of billion of dollars worth of stranded assets as the world transitions to greener energy, according ...

China's quest for clean, limitless energy heats up

A ground-breaking fusion reactor built by Chinese scientists is underscoring Beijing's determination to be at the core of clean energy technology, as it eyes a fully-functioning plant by 2050.

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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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