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Global and Domestic Carbon Dioxide Emissions & their Effect on Climate Change

Other Greenhouse Gases and Life Span
Carbon dioxide is not the only participant in global change, in fact it is a very weak absorber of infrared radiation. The most important greenhouse gas is water vapor, as it absorbs over a long range of infrared wavelengths [5], and the large predicted changes in temperature will be a result of positive feedbacks to shift more water vapor into the atmosphere. Contributions from other species are summarized below[4] [6].

Also listed below is the typical life span of the atmospheric gases. Unfortunately, atmospheric CO2 values do not hover around some fixed equilibrium position. The biosphere will not change to return to a past equilibrium value (though we witness an inertia to change by uptake by the oceans), rather those species that can be consumed in atmospheric chemical reaction like CH4 will, whereas the CO2 will stay at its elevated concentration for perhaps millions of years.

Gaseous Species Responsible for Greenhouse Effect
Percent Contribution
Life Span
500 years
7-10 years
140-190 years

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