Greenhouse gases are those gases that are transparent to solar radiation but opaque to longwave radiation - their action being similar to that of glass in a greenhouse. They include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and ozone. As in a greenhouse, they have the effect of increasing the temperature of the air underneath. Water vapour also has a similar effect.
Human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, tend to create greenhouse gases - they are a source - and growing plants such as forest ecosystems tend to reduce them - sinks. Photosynthesizing plants use CO2 from the atmosphere and fix the carbon in the form of carbon compounds such as carbohydrates within the plant. On a large scale, such as forest ecosystems, this is known as carbon sequestration.
Studies have been conducted to measure and monitor both the amount of carbon being produced by man (carbon footprint) and the amount of carbon that exists in forests (carbon stocks) on a national, European and international level.
19 records found in EUROFOREST Portal