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    Functions of Carbon Offsets Chemical compounds that trap heat in the lower atmosphere, allowing direct sunlight to reach the Earth, but absorbing the heat that radiates back to the atmosphere as the Earth's surface is heated. This greenhouse effect allows the Earth to stay warm enough to support life, but excess greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities may disturb this process, resulting in climate change. The most abundant greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are as follows: methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), ozone (O3), water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2). Increase in the average temperature of global surface air and oceans since about 1950, and continuing increases in those temperatures. The process by which emissions from one source are matched against carbon credits derived elsewhere, i.e. from projects that reduce GHG emissions. The total greenhouse gas emissions from an organization or activity, expressed in tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Wind, solar electric, solar thermal, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas,  and hydro-electric. The energy generated by renewable energy projects replaces energy from traditional fossil fuel energy generation. Projects aim to reduce energy usage by using more efficient technologies. Projects do not avoid the emission of GHG into the atmosphere; they act as a carbon sink, sequestering (extracting and holding) carbon that is already present in the atmosphere. Carbon offsets from these projects are created through the avoidance/reduction of GHG emissions into the atmosphere as a result of the clearing or degradation of forests.

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