Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074



Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074
Textbook Problem

What are the three most abundant gases in the atmosphere? Are any of these greenhouse gases?

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The three most abundant gases in the atmosphere is to be given and also have to give whether any of these are green-house gases.

Concept introduction:

Atmospheric air contains various gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon etc. The most abundant of them all is nitrogen. Atmospheric air also contain trace amount of water vapor, neon, helium…

Greenhouse Effect: When the solar radiation reaches the earth’s atmosphere, some of the radiations gets reflected and some of the radiations are absorbed by earth’s surface. This energy is converted into heat and radiate back towards space. Some of these are trapped by green-house gases when going up to the atmosphere and this will heat up the earth’s atmosphere.

Greenhouse Gases:

  • CO2
  • CH4
  • N2O
  • H2O
  • HCl

The most important green-house gas is water vapor.


Atmosphere contains various gases with different compositions. The most abundant gas in the atmosphere is nitrogen. The atmosphere contains about 78.08% nitrogen. The next major gas present in atmosphere is oxygen. It is present about 20.94% of atmospheric gases. The third abundant gas present in atmosphere is argon which is about 0.0314%.

Green-house effect is an important phenomenon to keep the earth warm. Earth’s surface absorbs energy from sun and release radiation like infrared. These radiations are absorbed by gases called as green-house gases and re-emit to the atmosphere. This will result in the heating of atmosphere.

The factors which decide whether the gas can act as green-house gas or not is its composition.

Atoms which did not have chemical bonds cannot interact with infrared. Therefore single atom gases cannot act as green-house gases

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