What Are Main Causes Of Climate Change – There is a lot of confusion about climate change, especially when it comes to finding viable solutions. How can we decide which solutions make the most sense and where to focus our efforts? It turns out that starting with these three little graphs helps a lot.

Why? Many people can point to a lack of robust science literacy in America today. Others may point to deliberate efforts by industry groups and their political allies to obscure the issue, sow doubt and confusion. Others may criticize our media, where facts and respectful conversations are drowned out by sensationalism, manufactured controversies and shouting matches.

What Are Main Causes Of Climate Change

While all of this is true, I think it may be more fundamental than that. Probably because people literally can’t

Causes And Effects Of Climate Change

To our eyes. That’s the thing. Solar radiation – and the visible spectrum of light that our eyes see – is neither absorbed nor emitted by these gases. Sunshine passes through them, allowing the Sun’s radiation to pass through infinitely, illuminating and warming the Earth’s surface, and we do it all without seeing anything.

Transparent in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, where Earth reflects back into space. So-called greenhouse gases absorb and re-emit that radiation, some of which returns to Earth’s surface, warming the planet’s surface where it would otherwise be. In other words, the earth is one

It’s basic physics, it’s simple, but it’s something we can’t see with our own eyes. So it is easy to ignore or dismiss it.

. We can see landfills, plastic pollution on the beach, noxious chemical foams floating on the water and it is immediately understood by our senses. But replacing the sky with invisible gases? To our brain it seems impossible, because the sky seems infinite to us. And, for most of human history, it was seen as the domain of the gods, not ours.

Climate Science Investigations South Florida

Change the sky, and we have. Dramatically. By this spring, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere had risen to about 415 parts per million, shattering the highest level seen in the past few million years — 270 parts per million. And it is still increasing year by year.

Confusion about climate change is even more confusing when it comes to solutions. Debates don’t usually start with facts or basic science; Instead we can hear from a number of “experts” who want to tell us how they will solve climate change – usually with their favorite pet theory or business idea. Often with little data or scientific understanding to back it up.

Before debating the merits of different climate solutions, it’s best to start with the basic science and learn a little about how greenhouse gases actually work. We can have more informed discussions and debates about which solutions to climate change are most viable.

Greenhouse gas emissions from major gases. Each of these gases is emitted by human activities, which contribute to a warming planet. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major greenhouse gas produced by fossil fuel combustion, land use and industrial processes. Methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and fluorinated gases (F-gases) are also important. Here we compare each gas on an “apples to apples” basis by averaging their “global warming potential” over a 100 year period. Data from EPA, with adjustments for separate chemical and cement emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion, based on data from the World Resources Institute.

What Is Global Warming? Definitions, Causes, And Effects

The main greenhouse gases to consider are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and the so-called f-gases (mainly hydrofluorocarbons, chlorofluorocarbons and other fluorinated gases). It’s not just CO2.

Each gas behaves a little differently in the atmosphere and we need to take that into account. For example, some gases trap heat more effectively than others because their molecular structure better absorbs infrared radiation and they each spend different times in the atmosphere. So to compare them in a consistent, “apples to apples” way, we convert them into equivalent units by averaging the “global warming potential” over 100 years. (This is the standard tool for comparing different greenhouse gases and their impact on climate change. But it buries some important points. For example, methane is more powerful at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, but it doesn’t last in the atmosphere very long. So, in the short term, 10-30 years, methane is

Important for climate change. But in the long run, like a century or two, it’s much less.)

Among our greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide gets the most attention, and for good reason. This represents about 76% of our greenhouse gas emissions each year. And the lion’s share of that (about 62% of total emissions) comes from burning fossil fuels, including our use of oil, coal and natural gas. That’s why most of the attention on climate change solutions is focused on replacing fossil fuels – which account for about 62% of the problem.

What Are The Causes Of Climate Change? How Can It Be Stopped?

In fact, equating greenhouse gas emissions with burning fossil fuels alone is a big mistake; You lose about 38% of emissions and 38% of opportunities to address climate change.

For example, about eleven percent of our greenhouse gas emissions come from carbon dioxide released from land use, especially deforestation. Remember, burning carbon-rich trees is like burning coal. Both release CO2.

Then we have methane (CH4), which is released from fracking and leaks from natural gas pipelines, landfills, and biomass burning. Another major source of methane comes from agriculture, especially rice paddies and livestock. (Fun fact: mainly livestock

Finally, we have fluorinated gases (F-gas) such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These chemicals are commonly used as refrigerants or in industrial processes.

Black Carbon Larger Cause Of Climate Change Than Previously Assessed

There are other minor greenhouse gases and so-called “black carbon” that we humans emit into the atmosphere, but for the sake of simplicity, this is a good starting point.

The bottom line is that the greenhouse gases that warm our planet consist of more than just CO2 and come from more than just burning fossil fuels. We need to broaden our perspective to understand and address climate change.

It is a big mistake to equate greenhouse gas emissions with burning fossil fuels alone; You lose about 38% of emissions and 38% of opportunities to address climate change.

So where do all these emissions originate from? And what human activities cause them? We can start thinking of more viable solutions to reduce their emissions.

What Is Climate Change ?

To calculate this, we can trace greenhouse gas emissions across the globe to their different sources and assign them to major economic categories. Here’s a graph that breaks them down globally.

Sources of greenhouse gas emissions from major economic sectors. It is important to note that these data are for the world as a whole and each country has a different emissions profile. In the United States, for example, food and land use are a small part of emissions, while transportation is much more. Data from EPA.

Globally, the two largest sectors contributing to climate change are electricity generation (~25%) and food and land use (~24%). In other words, burning coal, oil and natural gas to generate electricity is the single largest source of global emissions, but the food and land use sector is closely tied to it.

Some wonder how important food and land use are to climate change. It turns out that food and land use release greenhouse gases for three main reasons. Deforestation and other land clearing for food production are the largest sources of these emissions. Methane production from livestock and rice paddies is the second largest contributor of greenhouse gases from food and land use, after nitrous oxide emissions from overuse of fertilizers on agricultural soils. Interestingly, the differences between local food and industrial food systems and the “food miles” they involve have only small effects on climate change. Although local food systems have many other benefits, they are not critical to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, we need to focus on deforestation, methane emissions from cattle and paddy fields, and excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers.

Top 10 Causes Of Climate Change

The rest of the graph tells the whole story. Electricity (~25%) and food and land use (~24%) account for about half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, with industry, transport, buildings and other sources accounting for the rest.

Six major sectors – power, food and land use, industry, transport, buildings and other emissions – are causing the problem. So opportunities to reduce emissions often come – by eliminating the sources of greenhouse gases where they originate.

There are some immediate lessons we can draw from these graphs. Most importantly, and I’ve emphasized this before, is climate change

Just a power issue; It’s about 62% of the energy problem — food and land use are also crucially important — and natural gas pipelines, landfills, cement and leaking refrigerant gases. Many gases and many emission sources contribute to climate

What Is Climate Change?

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