The United States releases twenty tons of carbon monoxide per person per year. Carbon Monoxide release is a result of burning fossil fuels with an insufficient amount of oxygen that causes the formation of carbon monoxide that pollutes our environment. Every day fuel is burnt by cars, airplanes, large factories and manufacturing plants. This is causing a very large and deadly problem for our environment. When gases used on earth are released into the atmosphere they act as a blanket and trap radiation that is then redirected to earth. This concept is called the Greenhouse Effect. In this essay I will discuss the greenhouse gasses and their role in global warming.
With all the talk about the prospects of climate change, including international debates focused on the possibility of reduced gaseous emissions, one centrally important consideration often gets ignored. It turns out that the greenhouse gases that contribute to warming the earth constitute only about 1 percent of all gaseous atmospheric material. And if one considers only the subset of these gaseous molecules whose concentrations are thought to be altered by human activities, their atmospheric contribution drops to well below 1 percent. In the past 50 years we have begun to realize that these additions to our atmosphere, which come primarily from fossil fuel burning, will likely have significant impacts on human and ecosystem health and welfare.
Simply put, these ''new'' gases, despite their low relative concentrations, have and will continue to demand our attention from political and economic points-of-view. Remarkably, even though so small in percentage terms, greenhouse gases are critical to our maintenance of a planetary atmosphere conducive for life. Recognizing how such a minute portion of our atmosphere affects humans so significantly is a first step towards understanding why seemingly small quantities matter and likely a requisite step for living in a sustainable way. Quantities are small in relative percentage terms, but in net emission terms, the U.S., alone, emitted a staggering 89 billion pound of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas in 1998.
Most gases in the atmosphere do little to enhance global surface temperatures, in fact, the two most abundant gases, namely nitrogen and oxygen, contribute little or nothing to increased temperatures at the surface. However, some gases, known as greenhouse gases, have a very special property that enables them to warm the Earth's near surface environments substantially. Specifically, these gases, which include (in order of decreasing abundance) water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), ozone (O3), and a variety of chlorofluorocarbons, have the property that they are nearly transparent to visible light but absorb great quantities of earth light, one example of this is the sun. Earth light, or infrared light, is emitted by the earth and can only be observed by humans with the use of...