Environmental Protection Agency: Climate Change Indicators - Atmospheric Concentrations of Greenhouse Gases

This indicator describes how the levels of major greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have changed over time.

This indicator describes concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It focuses on the major greenhouse gases that result from human activities.

For carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and halogenated gases, recent measurements come from monitoring stations around the world, while measurements of older air come from air bubbles trapped in layers of ice from Antarctica and Greenland. By determining the age of the ice layers and the concentrations of gases trapped inside, scientists can learn what the atmosphere was like thousands of years ago.

This indicator also shows data from satellite instruments that measure ozone density in the troposphere, the stratosphere, and the “total column,” or all layers of the atmosphere. These satellite data are routinely compared with ground-based instruments to confirm their accuracy. Ozone data have been averaged worldwide for each year to smooth out the regional and seasonal variations.

Science Topics
Carbon Cycle, Climate Change
Middle School
6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade

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