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Title: Greenhouse gases: What is their role in climate change

Greenhouse gases: What is their role in climate change This paper summarizes information relevant to understanding the role of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It examines the nature of the greenhouse effect, the Earth's radiation budget, the concentrations of these gases in the atmosphere, how these concentrations have been changing, natural processes which regulate these concentrations of greenhouse gases, residence times of these gases in the atmosphere, and the rate of release of gases affecting atmospheric composition by human activities. We address the issue of the greenhouse effect itself in the first section. In the second section we examine trends in atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and emissions sources. In the third section, we examine the natural carbon cycle and its role in determining the atmospheric residence time of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}). In the fourth section, we examine the role atmospheric chemistry plays in the determining the concentrations of greenhouse gases. This paper is not intended to be an exhaustive treatment of these issues. Exhaustive treatments can be found in other volumes, many of which are cited throughout this paper. Rather, this paper is intended to summarize some of the major findings, unknowns, and uncertainties associated with the current state of knowledge regarding the role of greenhouse gases more » in the atmosphere. 57 refs., 11 figs., 11 tabs. « less
Authors: ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 6447906
Report Number(s):PNL-SA-18815; CONF-901262--1
ON: DE91005447
DOE Contract Number:AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type:Conference
Resource Relation:Conference: Dahlem workshop on limiting greenhouse effect: options for controlling atmospheric CO sub 2 accumulation, Berlin (Germany, F.R.), 9-14 Dec 1990
Research Org:Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (USA)
Sponsoring Org:DOE/ER
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 20 FOSSIL-FUELED POWER PLANTS; AIR POLLUTION; ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; FOSSIL FUELS; GREENHOUSE EFFECT; STATISTICAL MODELS; ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY; CARBON CYCLE; CARBON DIOXIDE; CARBON MONOXIDE; CARBON SINKS; CHLORINATED ALIPHATIC HYDROCARBONS; CLIMATES; DEFORESTATION; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; ENERGY BALANCE; FLUORINATED ALIPHATIC HYDROCARBONS; GASES; HEAT SINKS; LAND USE; METHANE; NITROUS OXIDE; OZONE; SOLAR RADIATION; ALKANES; CARBON COMPOUNDS; CARBON OXIDES; CHALCOGENIDES; CHEMISTRY; ENERGY SOURCES; FLUIDS; FUELS; HALOGENATED ALIPHATIC HYDROCARBONS; HYDROCARBONS; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; NITROGEN COMPOUNDS; NITROGEN OXIDES; ORGANIC CHLORINE COMPOUNDS; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; ORGANIC FLUORINE COMPOUNDS; ORGANIC HALOGEN COMPOUNDS; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; POLLUTION; RADIATIONS; SINKS; STELLAR RADIATION 540120* -- Environment, Atmospheric-- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport-- (1990-); 200500 -- Fossil-Fueled Power Plants-- Environmental Aspects-- (1990-)