Greenhouse Gases


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An introduction to how Greenhouse Gases are related to Global Warming and a discussion of how they are produced.

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Greenhouse Gases

  1. 1. Green House Gases: An Introduction Prepared for Philazine by Philip Woodard – 2008 – all rights reserved ©
  2. 2. Definition <ul><li>Earth gets energy from the Sun mostly from visible light </li></ul><ul><li>Half of this energy is passed through Earth’s atmosphere since the atmosphere is transparent to visible light </li></ul><ul><li>Energy that reaches the Earth is absorbed by the surface as heat </li></ul><ul><li>Earth's surface radiates heat energy back out as infrared waves </li></ul><ul><li>Greenhouse gases, not transparent to infrared, trap and absorb earth’s returning infrared radiations </li></ul><ul><li>This delicate system prevents the wild swings in temperature between day and night that planets with no green house gases experience </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Problem is the Balance <ul><li>Too many green house gases and the earth warms up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Venus, with lots of CO 2 , heats up to 872 ◦ F </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Too few green house gases and the earth cools off, and day and night temperatures swing more wildly </li></ul>
  4. 4. THE GREENHOUSE GASES <ul><li>Water vapor </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon Dioxide </li></ul><ul><li>Methane </li></ul><ul><li>Nitrous Oxide </li></ul><ul><li>NF 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Ozone </li></ul><ul><li>CFC-12 </li></ul><ul><li>CFC-11 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Rise in Greenhouse Gases
  6. 6. U.S. Energy Consumption
  7. 7. Global Energy Consumption -- 2000
  8. 8. Rise in Greenhouse Gases <ul><li>International Energy Commission estimates Green House Gas emissions must rise by 45 percent by the year 2030 last 650,000 years 6.1 </li></ul><ul><li>Held steady at 180 to 300 ppm over the last 650,000 years </li></ul><ul><li>By the end of the 21st century, CO2 concentrations will rise to 490 ppm to 1260 ppm (75-350% above the pre-industrial concentration) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Man and the Rise of CO 2 <ul><li>The concentration of CO 2 in our atmosphere today far exceeds the natural range over the last 650,000 years </li></ul><ul><li>Held steady at 180 to 300 ppm over the last 650,000 years </li></ul><ul><li>By the end of the 21st century, CO 2 concentrations will rise to 490 ppm to 1260 ppm (75-350% above the pre-industrial concentration) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Spike in CO 2 Since 2000 <ul><li>Three percent rise in CO 2 levels every year since 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>China has been responsible for most of this global growth </li></ul><ul><li>Largely from building coal power plants in poorer internal provinces </li></ul><ul><li>The rate of atmospheric CO 2 rise is increasing </li></ul><ul><li>The rare of increase during the 1960s was about a third of the rate of increase in the 2000s </li></ul>
  11. 11. Man and the Rise of Methane <ul><li>The amount of methane in the air has jumped by nearly 28 million tons from June 2006 to October 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>More than 5.6 billion tons of methane in the air </li></ul><ul><li>Methane comes from landfills, natural gas, coal mining, animal waste, and decaying plants trapped in the Arctic permafrost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thousands of years ago billions of tons of methane were created by decaying Arctic plants and frozen in permafrost wetlands and trapped in the ocean floor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>As the Arctic warms, this methane will be freed and worsen warming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Methane is more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide on a per molecule basis in trapping atmospheric heat waves </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scientists are concerned that what they are seeing could be the start of the release of the Arctic methane </li></ul>
  12. 12. Man and the Rise of NF 3 <ul><li>None in atmosphere naturally </li></ul><ul><li>Nitrogen trifluoride has quadrupled in the last decade and increased 30-fold since 1978 </li></ul><ul><li>Used as a cleaning agent in manufacturing liquid crystal displays, computer monitors, and thin-film solar panels </li></ul>
  13. 13. Rises in Greenhouse Gases: 5000 Years
  14. 14. Major Carbon Emitters: 2007
  15. 15. Increase in Some Green House Gases 553 ppt 553 ppt -- -- CFC12 44 ppb 314 ppb 270 ppb Nitrous Oxide 1045 ppm 1745 ppm 700 ppm Methane 104 ppm 384 ppm 280 ppm Carbon Dioxide Increase since 1750 Current Level Preindustrial Level Gas
  16. 16. Where They Come From In 2008, a white paper from the Chinese government admitted China’s contributions of green house gases had exceeded those of the United States 10 .1 From 1990 to 2007, overall U.S. green house gas emissions have rise by 14.7 percent. the United States 10 .2
  17. 17. In the U.S.
  18. 18. Farm Animals Contribute 18 Percent 16.1 More emissions than from cars, buses and airplanes Global meat consumption is expected to double again between 2000 and 2050
  19. 19. Farm Animal Emissions <ul><li>Producing a pound of beef creates 11 times as much greenhouse gas emission as a pound of chicken </li></ul><ul><li>100 times more than a pound of carrots </li></ul><ul><li>In the U.S., agriculture accounted for just 7.4 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 2006, according to the EPA </li></ul>
  20. 20. Emissions Are Rising
  21. 21. Emissions Are Rising
  22. 22. All the Trends Point to a Change Northern Hemisphere Temps Population CO 2 Concentrations Water Use Species Extinctions GDP Loss of Rain Forest and Woodlands Paper Consumption Motor Vehicles Fisheries Exploitation Ozone Depletion Foreign Investment
  23. 23. Longevity of Green House Gases <ul><li>Water vapor stays in the atmosphere for days </li></ul><ul><li>Other greenhouse gases take many years to leave the atmosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CO 2 has an affective lifetime of tens of thousands of years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methane has an atmospheric lifetime of 13½ years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nitrous oxide has an atmospheric lifetime of 120 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CFC-12 has an atmospheric lifetime of 100 years </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Endnotes <ul><li>6.1 International Energy Commission, “World Energy Outlook 2008,” www.worldenergy BACK </li></ul><ul><li>10.1 Clifford Coonan , “China Catches up with US in Greenhouse Gas Emissions” Irish Times, November 1, 2008 BACK </li></ul><ul><li>10.2 Website , U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USEPA, August, 2008, USEPA #430-R-08-005 BACK </li></ul><ul><li>16.1 Elisabeth Rosenthal, “As More Eat Meat,” New York Times, December 3, 2008. BACK </li></ul>