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Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide

A heavy colorless gas that does not support combustion but is formed by the combustion and decomposition of organic substances. Found in some ambient air conditions. (099)A compound of carbon and oxygen formed whenever carbon is burned. Carbon dioxide is a colourless gas that absorbs infrared radiation, mostly at wavelengths between 12 and 18 microns. It behaves as a one-way filter, allowing incoming visible light to pass through in one direction, while preventing outgoing infrared radiation from passing in the opposite direction. The one-way filtering effect of carbon dioxide causes an excess of the infrared radiation to be trapped in the atmosphere; thus it acts as a "greenhouse" and has the potential to increase the surface temperature of the planet .