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What are Greenhouse Gases?

Green House Gases or GHGs, are atmospheric gases that trap heat, thereby regulating the Earth’s temperature. During the daytime, the sunlight enters the atmosphere, which warms the Earth’s surface. At night, the heat is released back into the air, but some of it is captured by the GHG, hence it prevents Earth from excessive cooling. This process is known as the greenhouse effect and maintains the Earth’s average temperature at around 14˚C. Without this effect, the Earth’s temperatures would plunge to as low as -18˚C (-0.4˚F), making it difficult to live.

However, fast-paced industrialisation and other human activities have significantly changed this balance by increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Burning of fossil fuels and incessant deforestation have led to almost 50% rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) since the Industrial Revolution. This has led to global warming and climate change. We are living proof of it. Global temperatures have hit through the roof in 2023.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA, Earth’s average land and ocean surface temperature in 2023 was 1.18 degrees C above all years in NOAA’s 1850-2023 climate record. It also beats the next warmest year, 2016, by a record-setting margin of 0.27 of a degree F (0.15 of a degree C). Moreover, the average global temperature for 2023 had crossed the pre-industrial (1850–1900) average by 1.35 degrees C.
What are the main GHGs:

Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Nitrous oxide

Industries produce fluorinated gases like hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride, which trap exponential amounts of heat. These gases contribute immensely to the increasing greenhouse effect and global warming.

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