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What are greenhouse gases?

greenhouse gases
(© Blue Planet Studio –

Greenhouse gasses have become a global concern because of the effects they have on our macroenvironment. While we keep addressing greenhouse effects, global warming, and their impact on the continent, it is crucial to discuss greenhouse gases’ contributions to global warming.

Although not all gasses present in the atmosphere are greenhouse gases, greenhouse gases are gases in the atmosphere that absorb infrared radiation emitted by the earth and reradiate it back to the earth’s surface to warm the earth’s surface.

Greenhouse gases are just a fraction of the gasses in the atmosphere. The typical greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

How are greenhouse gases detrimental to the environment?

Over the years, various activities have adversely affected what is supposed to warm the surface of the earth and keep us all from freezing to become a matter of global concern (global warming). Without these greenhouse gases, the earth’s average atmospheric temperature would be somewhere around -18°C.

The concentration of these greenhouse gases keeps increasing in the atmosphere. Hence, it has become a threat to the existence of living beings on the planet.

Scientists speculate that the concentration of these greenhouse gases is the primary cause of climate change, extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels, reduced wildlife populations, reduced food supply, etc., that we are experiencing today.

Some of the activities we engage in that increase the concentration of these greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are:

  • Burning organic materials, burning coals, wood, oil, fossil fuels, and other organic substances increases the amount of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere.
  • Burning of agricultural residues, disposal of industrial waste, and fertilizers and manures for farming are the primary sources of nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide consists of about 6% of greenhouse emissions.
  • Deforestation and urbanization are also notable causes of the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

All these activities and more are the cause of the adverse climatic changes we are experiencing. If it is not adequately checked, it will make the earth inhabitable in the long run.

How to save the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions

To save the environment from these increasing greenhouse gas emissions, we must first replace human dependence on fossil fuel consumption with renewable and energy-efficient technology.

Other activities we can engage in to save the environment are:

Engaging in sustainable practices (reduce, reuse, and recycle)

Why get more of the same thing if you can use it again? Recycling household waste can prevent as much as 2400 pounds of carbon dioxide from getting to the atmosphere yearly.

Replacing the regular light bulbs with the power saving bulbs

These are small actions that make a large difference over time as more people participate and change their behaviors.

Walk or ride your bicycle more, and drive less

You get to exercise more and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.

Plant a tree

Plant as many trees as you can. They help to absorb carbon dioxide and release more oxygen to the environment.

It is essential to take action today to preserve the planet

To keep the planet habitable in the long run, it is important to balance greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and probably eliminate the excess already stored in the atmosphere.

It is essential to educate the public on the best environmental practices to adopt in their day-to-day activities. The truth is that change happens gradually and then quickly; if one does not prepare early on, it can create massive problems overall to the overall quality of life.

Story by Brad Bernanke

augusta free press
augusta free press