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What is pollution?I wonder why you make all this stink and mess?

Mostly it's smoke and gases which come from burning fuels to make energy. But it isnít always obvious.

Some of the polluting gases stink - yuk! That's obvious!

Some pollution is clouds of black soot particles.

Some pollutants are deadly poisonous and can kill people.

But the main pollution is that colourless heavy gas which just about everyone has heard of: carbon dioxide (often shortened to CO2). This gas has no smell and people use it to put the fizz in fizzy drinks. It is also a 'greenhouse' gas... and that spells trouble for the planet's climate. Most CO2 comes from people burning fossil fuels and destroying forests.

What is greenhouse gas?
Some gases in the air act like the panes of glass in a greenhouse. They let the heat of the sun IN but they stop it going OUT. So the greenhouse gets hot. This is happening in the Earth's atmosphere because people are adding vast amounts of extra greenhouse gases which mostly come from burning fossil fuels.

For more about pollution, see my pollution guide. For more about greenhouse gases and climate change, take a look at my Hot Earth guide.


Back to my energy home page
back to 'Whatís the problem? Pollution'


forward to 'Greenhouse Earth'

 







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