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Greenhouse Gases are gases that are emitted from many sources that cause our atmosphere to get hotter than it would be without them. The energy the earth receives from the sun, mainly as light, that we experience as heat is from infrared radiation. Greenhouse gases reflect infrared radiation, trapping the heat from the sun in the atmosphere. This process is called the "Greenhouse Effect." Without this, the Earth would be too cold to sustain life. However, as the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases, so does the strength of this effect. The cause of climate change and global warming is the result of too many of these gases trapping more heat and warming the entire planet.

These gases can come from many sources and the most controllable sources are:

  • Gases released from our burning of fuels and other materials

Examples: Carbon Dioxide or CO2, Nitrous Oxide or N20

  • Gases released from our utilities that generate electricity via burning fuels

Examples: Carbon Dioxide or CO2, Nitrous Oxide or N20

  • Gases released from our refrigerant systems when they leak

Examples: Halons, Freons, Fluorinated Gases

  • Gases released from our factories, manufacturing processes, and agriculture

Examples: Carbon Dioxide, refrigerant gases, Methane or CH4, Nitrous Oxides

  • Gases released from our commercial and residential activities

Examples: Carbon Dioxide, Refrigerant Gases, Methane

  • Gases released from our merchandise and personal products

Examples: Aerosols, Carbon Dioxide, VOCs

  • Gases released from wastes in landfills

Example: Methane

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