Articles on GHG emissions, their impact on the greenhouse effect and global temperatures, plus profiles of cement industry, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorocarbons. Analysis of Emissions Gap, carbon capture & storage, and much more.

Noctilucent clouds

F-Gases: Man-made Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases

What are F-gases? Where do they come from? What are they used for? How do fluorinated gases affect climate change? What is their atmospheric lifetime, global warming potential (GWP) and concentration in the atmosphere? Why are HFCs being phased out by the Montreal Protocol? We answer all these questions and more.

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Coal-fired power plant emits high level of greenhouses gases

What Are Greenhouse Gases?

We explain all you need to know about the main greenhouse gases, including water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), the fluorinated gases (CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, PFCs) and ozone (O3).

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Greenhouse gases are invisible but they remain a serious threat to our climate

Greenhouse Gas Statistics

We explain the complexities involved in producing accurate emission statistics of greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide, methane and CO2, for use by the world’s media. We know the troposphere contains excessively high levels of these gases, but pinpointing their precise source(s) can be next to impossible.

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Industrial Pollution From Factories

What Is The Emissions Gap?

The difference between what emission levels are likely to be in 2030, and what they should be if we are to limit global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius, is called the Emissions Gap. We explain the situation up to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Electric Vehicles: All You Need to Know

The introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) is an essential element in any climate action plan that aims to reduce the amount of toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. However, if EVs are to deliver real benefits, a number of challenges need to be overcome. We investigate the pros and cons of electric vehicles: namely, emissions & pollution benefits versus charging point infrastructure, range and cost.

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World's largest cement plant, Alpena, Michigan

Cement Emissions Bad for Climate Change

The cement industry produces huge, unsustainable CO2 emissions as it makes clinker, the binder in concrete. In addition, its high-temperature furnaces use up large amounts of coal or other fossil fuels, further boosting emissions. We explain the whole problem.

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Exxon Mobil Oil Refinery, Baton Rouge

Methane: A Powerful Greenhouse Gas

We examine the main sources of CH4, notably the oil and gas industry and livestock farming. We also explain methanogenesis, or biomethanation, as well as the main methane sinks – notably the northern permafrost – and its global warming potential.

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Coal Fired Power Station

Carbon Dioxide: The No 1. Greenhouse Gas

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most predominant and longest living greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. We explain its global warming potential, its main sources, its impact on the greenhouse effect and climate change, and its movement through the fast and slow carbon cycles. We also compare current levels of atmospheric CO2 with historical levels.

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Statoil Kuhn Fracking Pad, West Virginia

Why Are Methane Levels Rising?

Methane levels are rising – bad news for the planet because they add significantly to global warming – but as yet we don’t know why. We cast an eye over the main culprits: leakage from oil and gas infrastructure, shale gas fracking, tropical microbial methanogenesis in rice paddies, intensive livestock farming and the US ammonia industry.

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Air Pollution from Factories

What Are Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

The main GHG emissions are those from CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons. The biggest man-made sources are coal, petroleum, natural gas, wood and peat. Wildfires, soil and wetlands are major natural sources. We provide a full explanation.

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Diagram of the Greenhouse Effect

What Is The Greenhouse Effect?

The “Greenhouse Effect” is a naturally occurring process which ensures that Earth’s surface temperature is a cosy 15°C (59°F) instead of the freezing minus 18°C (zero degrees Fahrenheit) that it would otherwise be. Unfortunately, global warming has destabilized this process, causing a significant increase in temperature, and extreme weather events around the world.

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Information & Facts about Emissions

• Man-made greenhouse gas emissions, globally consist of roughly: 74.5 percent carbon dioxide (CO2), 17.5 percent methane (CH4), 6 percent nitrous oxide (N2O) and 2 percent fluorinated gases.  

• Nearly half of the world’s CO2 emissions are generated by the activities of about 10 percent of the world’s population.

• About 70 percent of all CO2 emitted into the atmosphere is removed after 100 years. A further 10 percent is removed over the next 200 years. This leaves about 20 percent, which remains active in the atmosphere for tens if not hundreds of thousands of years, with a mean lifetime of between 30,000 and 35,000 years.

• The largest sources of man-made greenhouse gas emissions are: (1) Transport (30 percent) like cars, trains, trucks, ships and aeroplanes. (2) Electricity production (27.5 percent). (3) Industry (22.2 percent). (4) Heating for homes and businesses (11.6 percent). (5) Livestock agriculture (9 percent).  

• There are an estimated 1,200 billion tons of frozen carbon dioxide and methane stored in permafrost in the extreme North. As global temperatures rise, permafrost is thawing and releasing its stores of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. An ancient type of Siberian permafrost known as yedoma, has become a significant source of methane, releasing about 4 million tons a year.  

• Deforestation and forest degradation are estimated to account for 7-9 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.