Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, which makes the earth warmer. People are adding several types of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and each gas’s effect on climate change depends on three main factors:
Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas you hear people talk about the most. That’s because we produce more carbon dioxide than any other greenhouse gas, and it’s responsible for most of the warming.
Some greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for only a short time, but others can stay in the atmosphere and affect the climate for over thousands of years.
Not all greenhouse gases are created equal. Some trap more heat than others. For example, one pound of methane traps about 25 times as much heat as one pound of carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas emitted by humans, but several other gases contribute to climate change, too.
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