What are greenhouse gases?: Types and consequences

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Greenhouse gases are those produced naturally and by human activity. These gases are characterized by being polluting and influencing global warming of the earth. To understand the appropriate effects they have on the planet, it is important to be clear about what greenhouse gases are. Greenhouse gases often accumulate in the earth’s atmosphere, absorbing all the infrared energy from the sun. This creates the so-called greenhouse effect, which directly affects climate change, increasing the temperature of the earth. Why is it important to understand what greenhouse gases are?. Mainly, because man is the cause of producing this type of gas.

What are greenhouse gases?

Although greenhouse gases are associated with global warming, the truth is that they are not really a problem if there is not an excessive concentration in the atmosphere. In fact, they are necessary to maintain the temperature of the earth in an optimal state. But, due to human activity, the natural balance has been disturbed by increasing the number of gases. In general, industrial activity and transportation are associated with the production of gases. Nevertheless, greenhouse gases are made up of different substances, which can become quite complex. Even scientists admit that more research is necessary to understand how gases work and their real effects on climate change. Most of the scientific community agrees with reducing the emission of GHG gases.

Types of greenhouse gases

The planet has a radioactive balance between the amount of energy received and the amount of energy emitted to the outside as infrared radiation. This radiation is absorbed by the greenhouse gases, increasing the total accumulated energy. The more these gases accumulate, the greater the effect of climate change on planet earth. Among the gases involved in this process we can find:

CO2

This is the gas with the highest concentration and permanence in the atmosphere, even though it is not the one with most warming power. Its half-life is estimated to be 1000 years, so its growth is due to the combustion of coal, the industrial revolution, oil and gas. Another activity that contributes the most to the atmospheric increase of CO2 is the manufacturing of cement. This gas represents the 74% of the total emissions that are causing climate change.

Methane

Methane is one of the gases that has raised attention in recent years due to its high global warming potential (GWP). This gas has a 25% higher GWP than CO2, but its half-life is much shorter, only 10 years. Methane is generally produced naturally, as well as from livestock farming and the breakdown of garbage in landfills.

Fluorinated gases and nitrous oxide

These are another of the two gases with the greatest GWP. Nitrous oxide occurs naturally and artificially, its half-life is about a century. This gas has 300 times higher GWP than CO2. While fluorinated gases have a purely human origin and have a GWP thousand times higher than CO2, it is for this reason that the industry is developing new products with a much lower GWP.

Consequence of greenhouse gases

When greenhouse gases increase, the temperature of the earth rises considerably. But that is not all, it also brings many immediate consequences to the present such as:

  • Flooding of islands and cities near the sea
  • Major hurricanes
  • Melting of the glacial masses
  • Migration of animal species
  • Negative effects on agriculture and livestock
  • Desertification of fertile places

Better solutions to avoid greenhouse gases

In order to reduce the releasing of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, a change of lifestyle is needed. You can have a much more environmentally friendly routine, replacing the car with bike rides or avoiding throwing plastic into the environment. Also, companies can avoid polluting gases through gas removal processes. Do you want to dispose of fluorinated gases and solvents in the right way? Then, you should know the waste manager service offered by Gases Grit. Grit has the most efficient plant for the management of waste and fluorinated solvents, preventing harmful greenhouse gases from reaching the ozone layer, and following and sticking to environmental laws, granting a certification of destruction of untreated waste.
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■ Communication Team

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