Monday, May 27, 2019

What are Greenhouse Gases (causes,Effects, solutions)

Greenhouse is a group of gas compounds that are capable of trapping the infrared radiations in the atmosphere, it keeps the surface of the earth warm which is enough to sustain Life on earth.

Nowadays, climate change and global warming have been the subject of much discussion. Nowadays the globe is heating up harshly. Rise in both land temperature and rise in sea level are much higher than in the 18th-19th century.

 Have you ever wondered what are the reasons behind this ? This is all because of the greenhouse gases.

Today we will discuss the causes, effects, and solutions of Greenhouse gases in full detail.

what are greenhouse Gases
what are greenhouse Gases 

What are Greenhouse Gases?

Greenhouse is a group of gas compounds that are capable of trapping the infrared radiations in the atmosphere, it keeps the surface of the earth warm which is enough to sustain Life on earth.

Greenhouse gases allow sun rays (shortwave radiation) to pass in the atmosphere freely, where it is partially absorbed by the surface of the earth. As the amount of  greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, the same heat is on the earth.That is why increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases the greenhouse effect which results in global warming and consequently climate change.

Name of greenhouse gases

Name of greenhouse gases

  •               water vapor,
  •     carbon dioxide, \
  •     methane,
  •  Nitrous oxide, 
  • ozone,         
  • chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs),
  •  hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),
  •   perfluorocarbos (PFCs),
  •   sulfur hexafluoride,
  •  nitrogen trifluoride, etc.

Out of above mentioned Greenhouse Gases. Primary  GHGs are water vapor (the most important), ozone, carbon dioxide(CO2), methane(CH4), and nitrous oxide, which are naturally present in the atmosphere. 

Other Greenhouse Gases are synthetic chemicals that are emitted only as a result of Man Made activities.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ) related to Greenhouse gases. 

1. Is CFC a Greenhouse Gas ?

  Yes, but CFC(chlorofluorocarbons) is a synthetic chemical which is produced by human activities. This gas is mainly emitted when we use common equipment such as Air conditioner,fridge, computer, Laptop , vehicles etc.

2. How human activities produce greenhouse gases ?

The main human activity which produces greenhouse gas is Burning of fossil fuels such as petrol, natural gas and coal (which emits the most carbon per unit of energy supplied) mainly used to generate electricity. 

Second activity is Deforestation main cause of emission of carbon dioxide 

Rice cultivation is also the cause of emission of methane.

Use of Fertilizer increases nitrous oxide emission.

3. What produces the most greenhouse gas?

Actually, Humans themselves are responsible for the excess emission of greenhouse gases. human activities such as burning of fossil fuels, deforestation , industries, stubble burning, over use of single plastic, air conditioning, excess vehicles etc. 

4. Is the greenhouse effect natural or man made?  

 mainly greenhouse gases are natural but in the last 6-7 decades greenhouse gases are produced due to human activities.  CFC(chlorofluorocarbons) is a synthetic chemical which mainly is produced by human activities.

On the other hand, emission of CO2 is also increased by burning  fossil fuels but its molecules also naturally occur in the atmosphere. 

5. Which sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases?

 Energy production mainly electricity generation is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases because coal is used to generate electricity , but solar energy , hydro electric power generators do not emit greenhouse gases. 

6. Which country has the most greenhouse gases? 

The top three greenhouse gas emitters- China, the European Union and the United States-contributed more than half of total global emissions.
whereas India's energy emission is 4.64% of global greenhouse gas emission. 

7. How much CO2 do cows produce? 

A cow on average releases between 70-120 kg of Methane per year. but the bad effect of methane is 23 times higher than the effect of CO2 on climate. so, release of about 100 kg Methane per year for each cow is equivalent to approximately 2300 kg CO2 per year. 

Let's compare this value with the burning of petrol. The same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) is generated by burning 1000 liters of petrol. With using 8 liters of petrol we can drive a car per 100 km, you could drive 12'500 km per year (7'800 miles per year) with this amount of petrol which is equal to production of CO2 by each cow per year.

8). Is Nitrogen a greenhouse gas ?

Nitrogen and oxygen both are not greenhouse gases, because both O2 and N are transparent to infrared light.

Causes of greenhouse gases

1. Burning of Fossil Fuels - 


Fossil Fuels -- Fuel consisting of the remains of organisms preserved in rocks in the earth's crust with high carbon and hydrogen content.

The burning of fossil fuels emits harmful chemicals into the environment.

Carbon fuels such as coal, petrol and coal  release unburnt carbon particles in the environment. These particles are very Harmful pollutants and cause respiratory diseases such as asthma.

The combustion of fossil fuels releases a large amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a  primary greenhouse gas which is responsible for Global warming.  Global warming is a rise in the overall temperature of earth’s surface. 

Nowadays the alternative of these fossil fuels is CNG (compressed natural gas) because it is a cleaner fuel and produces less harmful products.

2). How Does Deforestation contribute to the greenhouse effect

Deforestation is responsible for approximately  18% of all global greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities – which is more than global emissions from transport.

As we know that Forests store large amounts of carbon. Trees and  plants absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and release oxygen.

When forests are cleared, stored carbon is released into the atmosphere, mainly as carbon dioxide (CO2) which is responsible for increase in Greenhouse Gases. 

3. Agriculture greenhouse gas emissions

 The third-highest sector after energy and industry to effect Greenhouse gases is Agriculture in India.

As we all Know “Rice (paddy) is a water-loving plant”  it requires standing water in the field,   such conditions are ideal for methane (CH4)-producing bacteria to produce methane.

methane gas is also released by cattles. A cow on average releases between 70-120 kg of Methane per year.

Effects of greenhouse gases

1. Global warming

Although the level of greenhouse gas has been rising since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, it’s growth has been particularly fast in the past few decades.

The heat trapped by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has increased the surface temperature to 0.75 degree Celsius (1.4 degree Fahrenheit) over the past 100 years.

Global warming is harming the environment in many ways like: - Making land barren, ice melting has increased, sea level rise etc.

Effects of Greenhouse gases on climate
Effects of Greenhouse gases on climate 

2. Ocean Acidification

Carbon dioxide(CO2) has made the world's oceans 30% more acidic.

The ocean acts as a sink for this gas and approximately absorbs one-fourth carbon dioxide which is emission by humans, when it reacts with seawater, they make organic acids, so when carbon dioxide levels rise in the atmosphere The ocean's acidification increases.

3. Smoke and ozone pollution

Since the past century, ozone concentration has increased two times more methane and nitrogen oxides, mainly due to human emissions.

At the ground level, ozone is an air pollutant, which is a major component of smog, which is dangerous for both humans and plants.

Solutions for reducing Greenhouse Gas Emission 

1). Afforestation --   

Avoid deforestation  because plants absorb carbon dioxide which heats up our environment.

2). Buy Energy Efficient Products -- 

Use energy efficient products like LED bulbs so that less electricity is used because electricity generation is one one of the major causes of greenhouse gas emission. 

3). Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning --

Extra use of air conditioning is the cause of CFCs which is a synthetic chemical.  Turn down the heat while you’re sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times.

4). Avoid burning of Fossil Fuels.  

Use the alternative of fossil fuels CNG because it is a cleaner fuel and produces less harmful products.


Greenhouse gases are essential for human life, but due to excessive increase, global warming begins to occur, which has a bad effect on humans and animals.
So we should try to save the environment.

My purpose for writing this post is so that everyone can understand causes and effects of greenhouse gases in a simple language and in detail.

Thank You !!!!

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Author & Editor

ex science student


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