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Glossary

Global Warming

The recent and ongoing global average increase in temperature near the Earth’s surface.

Global Warming Potential (GWP)

A measure of the total energy that a gas absorbs over a particular period of time (usually 100 years), compared to carbon dioxide.

Greenhouse Effect

The trapping and buildup of heat in the atmosphere nearest the Earth’s surface, known as the troposphere. Some of the heat flowing toward space from the Earth’s surface is absorbed by water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone and several other gases in the atmosphere and then reradiated back toward the Earth’s surface. If the atmospheric concentrations of these greenhouse gases rise, the average temperature of the troposphere will gradually increase.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG)

Any gas that absorbs infrared radiation in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.