Earth’s depletion caused by global warming is mainly due to the greenhouse gases. Check out more information on greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse Gases

You might have heard in a breaking news segment sometime that there are retreating glaciers in 5 continents or even a sudden increase in tropical storms, wildfires and heat waves. It is a fact. Why is it happening? Yes, global warming is the answer. One of the main reasons that cause this disastrous phenomenon is the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases are meant to form a natural blanket over the Earth to keep it cool. But, an increased concentration of these gases can make the world extremely warm leading to global warming (more like burning!). Some of the green house gases are: carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and fluorocarbons. The more the concentration of these gases increase in the atmosphere greater will be the global warming. To find out about these gases and how you can save the environment, read the next section!
Greenhouse Gases List
Carbon Dioxide
  • This is a colourless, odourless, non-flammable gas that is the most prominent one among the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • Photosynthesis is where green plants manufacture food by transforming light into chemical energy. Hence, carbon dioxide and water is converted into oxygen and organic compounds.
  • Carbon dioxide is also emitted as a result of human exhalation.
  • It is also released during the burning of solid waste, from fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) to run our cars, while generating electricity and burning of wood.  
  • A study has shown that 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide has been added to the atmosphere by humans.
  • The making of wine and other beverages also leads to production of carbon dioxide.
  • Past 100 years have shown tremendous increase of CO2 in ice samples.
  • So, it can be deduced from the above details, that due to the excessive requirement and usage of this gas, it forms a part of the greenhouse blanket.
Nitrous Oxide
  • Another colourless greenhouse gas that has a sweet odour is nitrous oxide.
  • Also called as laughing gas, this is commonly used as an anesthetic to numb the pain.
  • This gas has been seen to be released from bacteria in the soil and from the oceans.
  • 7-13 million tons of nitrous oxide is added by humans every year, in the form of fertilizers, other human disposing, animal waste and sewage treatment plants.
  • Nitrous oxide is produced in rocket fuels, aerosol propellant and automobile combustion that prove extremely bad for the atmosphere.
  • Nitrous oxide is the main reason for ozone depletion in the 21st century.
  • Methane is emitted when organic waste decomposes which could be in places such as farms with livestock and landfills.
  • They occur during the production and transport of fossil fuels.
  • One of the major issues is that methane is released from the waterlogged soil where cultivation of rice takes place. Since, rice feeds about 1/3 of the world’s population, this problem has to be addressed.
  • 350-500 million tons of methane is given out every year because of human activity. It can stay in the atmosphere for only 10 years at a stretch, but traps 20 times more heat than any other greenhouse gas.
The other greenhouse gases like fluorocarbons are emitted due to various human activities which need to be stopped to ensure the growth of the planet.

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