A greenhouse gas (sometimes abbreviated GHG) is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. In the Solar System, the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, and Titan also contain gases that cause greenhouse effects. Greenhouse gases greatly affect the temperature of the Earth; without them, Earth's surface would be on average about 33 °C (59 °F) colder than at present.
Since the beginning of the Industrial revolution, the burning of fossil fuels has increased the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 280ppm to 390ppm. Unlike other pollutants, carbon dioxide emissions do not result from inefficient combustion: CO2 is a product of ideal, stoichiometric combustion of carbon. The emissions of carbon are directly proportional to energy consumption