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Fun Facts About Green House Gases

Updated on December 26, 2009

What is the Green House Effect?

A green house gas traps heat. Green house gases are thought by some scientists to be contributing to climate change or global warming on Planet Earth.

Farmers and horticulturists build greenhouses to grow plants in a warm humid setting regardless of the outside weather conditions. Sunlight enters the green house through glass panels in the roof. The sunlight carries energy in the form of light. The light is converted to heat inside the structure. This heat is trapped inside the structure of the house, including the glass. The inside of the green house heats up significantly in comparison to the outside, even in the Winter. Cars and trucks demonstrate the same behavior because they are built with large areas of glass. Your car is a miniature green house to the extent that heat enters through the windows and windshield, but cannot escape as easily. The interior of the vehicle experiences an increase in temperature relative to the air outside.

Some scientists say that the green house effect is necessary for life to exist on Earth in its current form. They calculate that without the green house effect the Earth would be about 80 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than it is now.

What is a Green House Gas?

Out planet does not have a wrapping of glass, as a traditional green house does, but we do have an atmosphere that protects us from ultraviolet radiation and also holds in enough heat to make the Earth habitable for all of us. Without the upper atmosphere, we would live on a very cold planet. Green house gases trap heat in a manner similar to the glass panels in a farmer's green house and by converting different kinds of light energy into heat energy. According to some scientists, these gases accumulate in the upper atmosphere of the Earth and cause an excessive rise in surface temperature in different parts of the planet.

What gases are considered Green House Gases?

These are the major green house gases in our atmosphere: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. All of these gases are naturally occurring and all are also generated by human activity. Water vapor is the most prevalent of the gases and also responsible for trapping the most heat. Methane is the most effective of the gases at trapping heat, but there is not at much methane in the atmosphere as there is water vapor.

Water vapor is emitted from the tailpipe of an automobile that burns fossil fuel. Clouds are comprised of water vapor. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of respiration in humans in animals and also respiration by plants at night. Methane is created by decomposing vegetable matter and is also emitted by cattle during their digestive process. Humans also burn methane, referred to as Natural Gas. Burning methane produces carbon dioxide and water vapor.

In 2008 scientists from Colorado University began monitoring water vapor in the atmosphere from the top of the world's largest volcano, Mauna Loa, in Hawaii. They have been monitoring carbon dioxide from the top of the volcano for about 50 years. One concern scientists have is the amplifying effect that water vapor has on the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. Although water vapor does not persist in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, it tends to become more prevalent as the temperature of the air increases. David Noone, a climate scientist with CU (Colorado University) posits that a drying of the atmosphere in the sub tropics may allow more heat to escape from the Earth's atmosphere into space and may modulate the global warming effects that some scientists are studying.

What are Anthropogenic Green House Gases?

Anthropogenic implies 'man made' or 'man caused'. Some volume of the green house gases in the atmosphere is produced as a result of activities by humans on Earth. Some scientists believe that Global Warming or Climate Change is caused by green house gasses that would not otherwise be in the atmosphere but for humans burning fossil fuels, generating electricity, farming, and breathing. 


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    • profile image

      shmaggly bob 5 years ago

      this website is retarded

    • profile image

      heyas 6 years ago

      i agree with james

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Ornov.dm99 wrote:

      "Oh dear friend its a so wonderful and excellent hub site.

      It has so many information about Fun Facts About Green House Gases. Thanks for sharing your nice hub site.

      friend you will get another hub site.........."

    • TnFlash profile image

      TnFlash 8 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Great Hub! There are a lot of new technologies coming to correct this problem. Good Information.

    • James Agbogun profile image

      James Agbogun 8 years ago

      'Anthropogenic green house gases' are the emphases. Hydrocarbons (with some sulphur and Nitrogen gas compounds) are placed in the same test tube with the notorious "carbon (iv) oxide" because they are either by-products of fossil fuels combustion process or simply escape as uncombusted or incomplete combustion from an array of media ranging from the exhaust pipes of cars through factories to gas flaring.

      The situation is compounded by geometric increase in human population in tandem with depletion of plants thus destabilising the equilibrium by encroaching into the buffer range so that the capacity for the available lesser plants to mop up carbon (iv) oxide from the atmosphere is overwhelmed by the excess amount of the substrate. It is this same reason scientists could point to increase populations of cattle as a further culprit.

      Great Hub!

    • dusanotes profile image

      dusanotes 8 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Good article, nicomp. Maybe you have found the answer to getting high grades with Hub Pages: don't offer an opinion in the body of the copy, leave it neutral, looking like a scholarly paper. In this, you did a good job. Then when it comes to the comment phase, your real nature comes out, and I agree with this entirely. Whatever works. Don White

    • Right Black profile image

      Right Black 8 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

      nicomp, good article. I know how we can experiment with whether breathing is affecting "global warming" or "climate change." Just allow all the blow hard advocates to stop breathing and see if that has an effect. Oh well, just a thought.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Tom Whitworth and breakfastpop: US cities were choked with wood smoke and coal smoke at the turn of the century. The streets were littered with horse poop and millions of flies. It stunk. Sometimes a horse would die; it didn't have a license plate so the owner could walk away, leaving it to bloat in the gutter.

      Don't worry, greens don't want us to go back to this unhealthy world. They know that population levels are unsustainable in their vision of utopia. They have other plans for everyone but themselves.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      I'm with Tom on this...

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      If we went back to Stone Age living conditions we would have to cut down an extraordinary amount ot trees to keep ouselves warm in the winter and to cook our food year round. We would need to completely de-forrest the entire Earth. It sounds like it's a good thing we have an industrial world where we can utilize fossil fuels.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA


    • The Old Firm profile image

      The Old Firm 8 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

      Oh good, hardly any words of more than two syllables.(I too once wrote reports for service intelligence)