Atmosphere frequently asked questions

Greenhouse gases are atmospheric gases that intercept long-wave (mainly infrared) radiation emitted from the Earth's surface.
Carbon is a very common element, present in plants, animals, the atmosphere, ocean, and rocks. It naturally moves between these forms by many processes, learn about some here.
You'll often hear about a power station emitting several million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in one year. But how can carbon emissions be weighed?
The term 'fart tax' has often come up in the news. It referred to a tax on farmers for the methane emissions produced by their livestock.
PPM and PPB are units used in atmospheric chemistry to describe the concentration of gases.
You might think that because all the carbon in cattle farming comes from the grass that the cattle is fed on, then the beef produced should be carbon neutral. But this is not the case.
The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of a greenhouse gas is its ability to trap extra heat in the atmosphere over time relative to carbon dioxide (CO2). This is most often calculated over 100 years, and is known as the 100 year GWP.
Many activities in people's daily lives lead to an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greater public consciousness about the problem has led to people making efforts to avoid or minimise the flow of these gases into the atmosphere.
The greenhouse effect is a warming of the earth's surface and lower atmosphere caused by substances which let the sun's energy through to the ground but impede the passage of energy from the earth back into space.