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MAIN Arrow to Going Green Guides Society Arrow to Going Green Guides Go Green Guides Arrow to Geothermal Energy Greenhouse Gases

A greenhouses gas is any gas in the atmosphere which both emits and absorbs radiation.

Despite the bad name that global warming has given greenhouse gases, they are actually necessary for human life on Earth.

Without greenhouses gases, the Earth would be a cold planet, much too cold for human life to have ever evolved.

The world's ecosystem keeps the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at an average that makes life on Earth ideal for human life.

The greenhouse effect was first recognized in the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution. Since then, industry has continually contributed a lot of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, much more than the amount that is naturally there. This causes the atmosphere to warm up, and if it continues, will make life uncomfortably hot for humans and all the other life on Earth.

Causes of greenhouse gases

Despite all the attention of pollution emissions by cars, it is petroleum oil and other fossil fuel power plants which are the largest greenhouse gas contributors. These are followed by industrial processes, and in third place, transportation emissions. Other major causes of the greenhouse effect are agricultural by-products and various fossil fuel extraction and refinement processes.

There is hope for a solution to global warming, however, because besides efforts to curb our output of greenhouse gases, scientists are working on a number of different ways that greenhouse gases can be removed from the atmosphere.

Removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere

Some of these proposed methods include fertilizing the ocean with iron to encourage plankton growth; using massive amounts of chemical scrubbers to clean the atmosphere; or dumping limestone in to the ocean, which promotes natural carbon dioxide removal processes.

These man-made solutions are attractive, but they only address the symptoms, rather than the root of the problem. Even if they are implemented, it will only postpone the greenhouse gas problem.

Currently, there is no better to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution, say experts, than simply taking personal steps to reduce global warming by cutting back on our own contributions while urging governments to develop alternative energy sources and place stricter controls over present fossil fuel emissions.

More information about greenhouse gases & global warming around the Web:

GreenHouse Gas Online - Greenhouse Gas News, Research and Resources - The latest headline news, information on carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and how they effect climate change and global warming, plus information on research studies offering several scenarios of future impact on the atmosphere.

Global warming - impact of greenhouse gases - Iowa State University report including information on types of greenhouse gases and their impact on global temperatures, with more on agriculture’s role in greenhouse gas emissions.

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