Most greenhouse gases present in our atmosphere are naturally occurring, and some amount of them is necessary for life to exist. Without some amount of greenhouse gases, our planet wouldn’t hold in heat from the sun and would be much, much colder. The problem with greenhouse gas emissions is that we end up with a higher concentration of greenhouse gases than occurs naturally, which has an impact on the earth’s temperature.
Some naturally occuring greenhouse gasses are water, methane, and carbon dioxide.
The most common naturally occurring gasses include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Water vapor is the most abundant because as temperatures rise, more water evaporates into the atmosphere from oceans, rivers, as well as from humidity in the air. Carbon dioxide is naturally placed into the atmosphere by large bodies of water and naturally occurring processes like photosynthesis, while methane gases are naturally emitted by low oxygen habitats, like swamplands. Nitrous oxide gases are also produced naturally from the soils and water in wet tropical forest habitats. Finally, in the lowest portion of the earth’s atmosphere, the troposphere, strong warming ozone gases are released. These naturally occurring emissions coupled with various human activities have influenced the great concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today.
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