What contributes to the greenhouse effect?

1 Answer
Feb 10, 2017

Greenhouse gases contribute to the greenhouse effect.


The greenhouse effect is caused by increasing amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs).


Since roughly the time of the industrial revolution, humans have been adding significant amounts of specific GHGs to the atmosphere.


These increases are anthropogenic in origin. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, water vapor, and others. Carbon dioxide and methane are the two GHGs of greatest concern. The former is emitted at very high rates and the latter persists in the atmosphere for a very long period of time. Burning of fossil fuels is a major source of increased GHG emissions.


To learn more, see this related question on Socratic describing how GHGs cause the greenhouse effect.