A colourless gas with a sweetish odour, prepared by heating ammonium nitrate. It produces exhilaration or anaesthesia when inhaled and is used (mixed with oxygen) as an anaesthetic and as an aerosol propellant.
- Chemical formula: N2O
- Other trace gases include methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and ozone.
- These gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, absorb heat more readily than do the main constituents of our atmosphere, oxygen and nitrogen.
- Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other gases are known collectively as greenhouse gases because they trap heat in the atmosphere.
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