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Greenhouse gas

Definition:

Greenhouse gases are those gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere and clouds.

This property causes the greenhouse effect.

Water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and ozone (O3) are the primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Moreover there are a number of entirely human-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as the halocarbons and other chlorine and bromine containing substances, dealt with under the Montreal Protocol. Beside CO2, N2O and CH4, the Kyoto Protocol deals with the greenhouse gases sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

Source: IPCC Glossary 

Related words:

Atmosphere - Carbon dioxide (CO2) - Climate change - Ozone

To read about this term in context:

GreenFacts Summary on Forests & Energy:

Translation(s):

Deutsch: Treibhausgas
Español: Gas de efecto invernadero
Français: Gaz à effet de serre
Nederlands: Broeikasgassen

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