The main gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorocarbons. The increased production of these gases have led to global warming.
There are many gases that contribute to global warming but it’s difficult to quantify and directly compare the effects of each because of several factors including different atmospheric concentrations, different atmospheric lifetimes, and different levels of radiative forcing per each molecule of gas. That aside, of the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide emissions contribute the most to global warming because of their sheer abundance in the atmosphere. Methane is second, followed by nitrous oxide. Water vapor is even a greenhouse gas! Other gases that contribute significantly to the greenhouse effect include CFCs (chlorofluorcarbons) and HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), and while many individual gases of these types have been isolated and identified, their specific radiative forcing values have not yet been confirmed for the aforementioned reasons.
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