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A common misconception held by most people is that the greenhouse effect is a phenomenon mainly caused by human CO2 production This is a gross misunderstanding actually the greenhouse effect is a natural occurrence Certain gases in the atmosphere trap infrared radiation or heat that would otherwise escape from the earths atmosphere into outer space this heat is a result of the greenhouse effect which is absolutely essential to the survival of every species on earth The greenhouse gas that is most abundant not to mention hating the largest effect on climate is water vapor Water vapor makes up 97 of all greenhouse gases Of the 3 of greenhouse gases not comprised of water vapor the largest component is carbon dioxide About 4 of the carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere is due to man-made carbon dioxide coming from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal oil and natural gas These fossil fuels have been trapped deep beneath the earths surface so their introduction in to the earths atmosphere causes an imbalance which has been alleged to cause adverse effects on the environment In addition to CO2 Methane CH4 Nitrous oxide N2O Hydrofluorocarbons HFCs Perfluorocarbons PFCs and Sulphur hexafluoride SF6 also constitute greenhouse gases The natural CO2 production corresponding to the greenhouse effect is known as the carbon cycle Carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere into plants when they breathe and that carbon gets stored in the body of the plant itself When plants are burned or when alcohol made from plants is burned the carbon dioxide that results does not necessarily represent a man-made addition to the greenhouse effect since the carbon in plants originally came from the air and therefore already existed as a part of the carbon cycle which transfers carbon back and forth between the atmosphere and the surface of the earth Burning vegetation only increases the greenhouse effect if it is done on a massive scale
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