Overview What are Greenhouse Gas emissions? What are the different types? The main sources they come from How can we reduce the different types of emissions
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Chemical compounds found in the Earth’s atmosphere act as “greenhouse gases.” These gases allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere freely. When sunlight strikes the Earth’s surface, some of it is reflected back towards space as infrared radiation (heat). Greenhouse gases absorb this infrared radiation and trap the heat in the atmosphere.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Over time, the amount of energy sent from the sun to the Earth’s surface should be about the same as the amount of energy radiated back into space, leaving the temperature of the Earth’s surface roughly constant.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Many gases exhibit these “greenhouse” properties. Some of them occur in nature (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide fluorinated gases), while others are exclusively human-made (like gases used for aerosols).
Carbon Dioxide Emissions Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. Carbon dioxide is naturally present in the atmosphere as part of the Earth's carbon cycle (the natural circulation of carbon among the atmosphere, oceans, soil, plants, and animals). The main human activity that emits CO2 is the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) for energy and transportation, although certain industrial processes and land-use changes also emit CO2.
Main Sources of C02 Electricity Transportation Industry
Reducing C02 Emissions The most effective way to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Many strategies for reducing CO2 emissions from energy are cross-cutting and apply to homes, businesses, industry, and transportation.
Methane Emissions Methane (CH4) is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities. Methane is emitted by natural sources such as wetlands, as well as human activities such as leakage from natural gas systems and the raising of livestock. Methane's lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than carbon dioxide (CO2), but CH4 is more efficient at trapping radiation than CO2.
Main Sources of CH4 Industry, Agriculture, Waste from home/Businesses
Reducing CH4 Emissions Upgrading the equipment used to produce, store, and transport oil and gas can reduce many of the leaks that contribute to CH4 emissions. Methane can be reduced and captured by altering manure management strategies at livestock operations or animal feeding practices.
Nitrous Oxide Emissions Nitrous oxide is naturally present in the atmosphere as part of the Earth's nitrogen cycle, and has a variety of natural sources Nitrous oxide molecules stay in the atmosphere for an average of 120 years before being removed by a sink or destroyed through chemical reactions. The impact of 1 pound of N2O on warming the atmosphere is over 300 times that of 1 pound of carbon dioxide.
Reducing N2O Emissions The application of fertilizers accounts for the majority of N2O emissions. Emissions can be reduced by reducing nitrogen-based fertilizer applications and applying fertilizers more efficiently Nitrous oxide is a byproduct of fuel combustion, so reducing mobile fuel consumption in motor vehicles can reduce transportation emissions.
Questions What is the primary leading greenhouse gas admitted through human activities? A. Methane B. Carbon Dioxide C. Fluorinate Gases D. Nitrous Oxide
What is not a main source of Carbon Dioxide? A. Transportation B. Industry C. Agriculture D. Electricity
Methane is emitted by natural sources such as wetlands, as well as human activities such as leakage from natural gas systems? A. True B. False
What is the largest source of Methane emissions from industry in the United States. –A. Landfill –B. Coal Mining –C. Manure Management –D. Natural Gas and petroleum
Nitrous oxide molecules stay in the atmosphere for an average of how many years? A. 10 B. 100 C. 120 D. 140
The impact of 1 pound of Nitrous Oxide on warming the atmosphere is over ___ times that of 1 pound of carbon dioxide. –A. 150 –B. 300 –C. 450 –D. 600
How can you reduce Nitrous Oxide emissions? A. Reducing mobile fuel consumption B. Reducing nitrogen-based fertilizer applications C. Applying fertilizers more efficiently D. All the above