greenhouse gas

noun
any of the gases whose absorption of solar radiation is responsible for the greenhouse effect, including carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and the fluorocarbons.

Origin:
1980–85

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World English Dictionary
greenhouse gas
 
n
any gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
greenhouse gas  
Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation produced by solar warming of the Earth's surface. They include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), and water vapor. Although greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere, the elevated levels especially of carbon dioxide and methane that have been observed in recent decades are directly related, at least in part, to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the deforestation of tropical forests.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Buying used textbooks not only saves you money, but cuts down on greenhouse
  gases caused by the manufacturing of new textbooks.
Coal plants, meanwhile, produce almost twice the volume of greenhouse gases as
  natural-gas plants per unit of energy generated.
It's high time for greens to unite around the urgent need to reduce emissions
  of greenhouse gases.
The notion that greenhouse gases could trigger such a rapid change keeps
  serious scientists up at night.
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