What Are Greenhouse Gases?
Greenhouse gases absorb radiation from the earths surface, which has the effect of warming the surface and lower atmosphere. The primary greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), and nitrous oxide. The most abundant greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is produced from both natural and man-made sources. Plant respiration and decomposition of organic matter are estimated to release more than ten times the carbon dioxide released by human activities, such as from the combustion of fossil fuels.
The average concentration of carbon dioxide has increased since the industrial revolution began. Additionally, the average global temperature has increased during this century, especially over the past 15 years. There is a growing body of evidence that the additional greenhouse gases produced from man-made activities have enhanced the heat-trapping capability of the earths atmosphere, thus contributing to an increase in temperature.
However, uncertainty remains as to how the earths climate responds to additional greenhouse gases or how these gases act in conjunction with other atmospheric constituents. Nonetheless, several global campaigns are underway to reduce greenhouse gas production, because even a slight average temperature increase could produce extreme outcomes such as draught and flood, sea level rise and tropical disease spreading