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Composition of Earth's atmosphere. The lower pie represents the trace gases which together compose 0.038% of the atmosphere. Values normalized for illustration. The numbers are from a variety of years (mainly 1987, with CO 2 and methane from 2009) and do not represent any single source. The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity .
Since the Industrial Revolution , human activities such as the burning of oil , coal and gas , as well as deforestation have greatly increased CO 2 concentrations in the atmosphere . As we can see from figure 1, almost all CO 2 emissions (about 96.5%) come from fossil fuels use. The 3 types of fossil fuels that are used the most are coal , natural gas and petroleum . When fossil fuels are combusted, the carbon stored in them is emitted almost entirely as CO 2 . 1