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Earth's Greenhouse Gases - Windows to the Universe

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Earth's Greenhouse Gases

Only a tiny amount of the gases in Earth’s atmosphere are greenhouse gases. But they have a huge effect on climate.

There are several different types of greenhouse gases, but they all have something in common. All of them have molecules with three or more parts. The parts are stuck together pretty loosely. These molecules can hold onto heat. This makes the little parts wiggle back and forth. Eventually, the molecule will release the heat. Another greenhouse gas molecule will probably grab onto the heat that is released. This keeps heat near the Earth’s surface. It is called the greenhouse effect.

Last modified February 1, 2010 by Randy Russell.

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