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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
greenhouse gas
▪ A wooden disc box from Supplier Action: not a greenhouse gas producer and not made from tropical hardwood.
▪ But it might contribute to global warming because methane is a powerful greenhouse gas.
▪ But water vapour is also a greenhouse gas.
▪ Carbon dioxide is a so-called greenhouse gas, which absorbs energy from the sun, making the air warmer.
▪ Carbon monoxide is also a powerful greenhouse gas.
▪ Negotiations on a treaty to limit this greenhouse gas begin in December.
▪ The drainage of peatbogs for forestry and agriculture is making a significant net contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, the report concludes.
▪ The market could grow much bigger if countries further subsidize wind power to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
greenhouse gas

n. any gas, such as carbon dioxide or CFCs that contribute to the greenhouse effect when released into the atmosphere

greenhouse gas

n. a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation [syn: greenhouse emission]

Greenhouse gas

A greenhouse gas (sometimes abbreviated GHG) is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Without greenhouse gases, the average temperature of Earth's surface would be about , rather than present average of . In the Solar System, the atmospheres of Venus, Mars and Titan also contain gases that cause a greenhouse effect.

Human activities since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (taken as the year 1750) have produced a 40% increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, from 280 ppm in 1750 to 400 ppm in 2015. This increase has occurred despite the uptake of a large portion of the emissions by various natural "sinks" involved in the carbon cycle. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions (i.e. emissions produced by human activities) come from combustion of carbon-based fuels, principally coal, oil, and natural gas, along with deforestation, soil erosion and animal agriculture.

It has been estimated that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the present rate, Earth's surface temperature could exceed historical values as early as 2047, with potentially harmful effects on ecosystems, biodiversity and the livelihoods of people worldwide.