Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Green house gases are gases that can trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. This section shows information on emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and also data on the removal of greenhouse gases from the Earth’s atmosphere.

One common greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide occurs naturally and is also emitted to the atmosphere through natural process and human activity. Other greenhouse gases such as fluorinated gases occur and are emitted solely from human activities. The most common greenhouse gases that are emitted because of human activities are below:
• Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Carbon dioxide rises into the atmosphere after the burning of fossil fuels, waste, solids, as well as a result of chemical reactions. Carbon dioxide can also sequestered from the atmosphere (or “removed”) when absorbed by plants in the biological cycle of carbon. Carbon dioxide is colorless, odorless, and tastes slightly like acid.
• Methane (CH4): Methane is released during coal related activity such as it’s production, and transportation. The same can be said about natural gas, and oil. Methane gas can also be released through the decay of organic waste.
• Nitrous Oxide (N20): Through agricultural and industrial activity we see the release of Nitrous oxide gases, as well as during the combustion of fossil fuel and organic solid waste.
• Flourinated Gases: Fluor Hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride are powerful, man-made gases that are released in many different ways of industrial processes. Such gases are usually released in smaller quantities, but because they are such a potent greenhouse gas, they are sometimes called High Global Warming Potential gases.

Greenhouse Gas Inventories
Scientists see emissions skyrocketing if the human activities that cause greenhouse gases is not reduced significantly. One example is that the demand for fossil fuels is expected to increase greatly with predictions of growth in the US and global economies.

Emission Trends & Projections
Routinely Check Tires – You should regularly check the pressure of your tires. Under-inflated tires wear out much more quickly, and also reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 3%. If you’re unsure of the optimal tire pressure for your tires, you can usually find that information on the driver-side door pillar or on the door of the glove compartment.

Recent reports show that carbon dioxide emissions have steadily increased over the past decades. Also, showing a 20 percent rise from 1990-2004. In the same report is was shown that methane and NO2 emissions decreased by 10 percent. These declines are heavily due to the increase in much needed laws, and policies directed towards decreasing harmful greenhouse gases. Declining cattle populations have also shown to be a result in decreased methane and NO2 levels. The improved emission controls in technology and in automotives has also helped to reduce nitrous oxide releases into the Earth’s atmosphere.