Gases and their lifespan - why is it important part of climate change?

A gas lifespan refers to the amount of time a gas molecule remains in the Earth's atmosphere before being removed or transformed by natural processes. The lifespan of a gas can vary widely depending on its chemical properties and the processes that remove it from the atmosphere.

For example, carbon dioxide (CO2) has a long lifespan, with some estimates suggesting it can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years. This is because much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities is absorbed by the oceans and land, where it can be stored for long periods of time. However, some CO2 is also removed from the atmosphere by natural processes, such as photosynthesis by plants and absorption by rock formations.

In contrast, methane (CH4) has a shorter lifespan in the atmosphere, with some estimates suggesting it persists for about 12 years. Methane is removed from the atmosphere through chemical reactions with hydroxyl radicals (OH) and through absorption by soils and vegetation.

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