First field measurements of laughing gas isotopes

Thanks to a newly developed laser spectrometer, Empa researchers can for the first time show which processes in grassland lead to nitrous oxide emissions. The aim is to reduce emissions of this potent greenhouse gas by gaining ...

Nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, is on the rise: study

Most of us know nitrous oxide as "laughing gas," used for its anaesthetic effects. But nitrous oxide (N2O) is actually the third most important long-lived greenhouse gas, after carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. Nitrous oxide ...

Elusive compounds of greenhouse gas isolated

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent atmospheric pollutant. Although naturally occurring, anthropogenic N2O emissions from intensive agricultural fertilisation, industrial processes, and combustion of fossil fuels and biomass ...

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Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as happy gas or laughing gas, is a chemical compound with the chemical formula N2O. At room temperature, it is a colorless non-flammable gas, with a pleasant, slightly sweet odor and taste. It is used in surgery and dentistry for its anesthetic and analgesic effects. It is known as "laughing gas" due to the euphoric effects of inhaling it, a property that has led to its recreational use as an inhalant drug. It is also used as an oxidizer in rocketry and in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. It is often created in bushfires[citation needed].

Nitrous oxide reacts with ozone and is the main naturally occurring regulator of stratospheric ozone. Nitrous oxide is also a major greenhouse gas. Considered over a 100 year period, it has 298 times more impact per unit weight than carbon dioxide.

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