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    which is the dominant greenhouse gas leading to global warming?


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    Climate Change Indicators: Greenhouse Gases

    Greenhouse Gases

    Climate Change Indicators: Greenhouse Gases

    Climate Change Indicators: Greenhouse Gases View Indicators:

    Greenhouse gases from human activities are the most significant driver of observed climate change since the mid-20th century.1 The indicators in this chapter characterize emissions of the major greenhouse gases resulting from human activities, the concentrations of these gases in the atmosphere, and how emissions and concentrations have changed over time. When comparing emissions of different gases, these indicators use a concept called “global warming potential” to convert amounts of other gases into carbon dioxide equivalents.

    Why does it matter?

    As greenhouse gas emissions from human activities increase, they build up in the atmosphere and warm the climate, leading to many other changes around the world—in the atmosphere, on land, and in the oceans. The indicators in other chapters of this report illustrate many of these changes, which have both positive and negative effects on people, society, and the environment—including plants and animals. Because many of the major greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for tens to hundreds of years after being released, their warming effects on the climate persist over a long time and can therefore affect both present and future generations.

    Summary of Key Points

    U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions. In the United States, greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities increased by 2 percent from 1990 to 2019. Since 2005, however, total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 12 percent. Carbon dioxide accounts for most of the nation’s emissions and most of the increase since 1990. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, followed by electricity generation. Emissions per person have decreased slightly in the last few years.Sources of Data on U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions. EPA has two key programs that provide data on greenhouse gas emissions in the United States: the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks and the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The programs are complementary, providing both a higher-level perspective on the nation’s total emissions and detailed information about the sources and types of emissions from individual facilities.Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Worldwide, net emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities increased by 43 percent from 1990 to 2015. Emissions of carbon dioxide, which account for about three-fourths of total emissions, increased by 51 percent over this period. As with the United States, the majority of the world’s emissions result from transportation, electricity generation, and other forms of energy production and use.Atmospheric Concentrations of Greenhouse Gases. Concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased since the beginning of the industrial era. Almost all of this increase is attributable to human activities.2 Historical measurements show that the current global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are unprecedented compared with the past 800,000 years, even after accounting for natural fluctuations.Climate Forcing. Climate forcing refers to a change in the Earth’s energy balance, leading to either a warming or cooling effect over time. An increase in the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases produces a positive climate forcing, or warming effect. From 1990 to 2019, the total warming effect from greenhouse gases added by humans to the Earth’s atmosphere increased by 45 percent. The warming effect associated with carbon dioxide alone increased by 36 percent.

    Major Long-Lived Greenhouse Gases and Their Characteristics

    Greenhouse gas How it's produced Average lifetime in the atmosphere 100-year global warming potential

    Carbon dioxide Emitted primarily through the burning of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal), solid waste, and trees and wood products. Changes in land use also play a role. Deforestation and soil degradation add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, while forest regrowth takes it out of the atmosphere.  see below* 1

    Methane Emitted during the production and transport of oil and natural gas as well as coal. Methane emissions also result from livestock and agricultural practices and from the anaerobic decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills.  12.4 years** 28–36

    Nitrous oxide Emitted during agricultural and industrial activities, as well as during combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste.  121 years** 265–298

    Fluorinated gases A group of gases that contain fluorine, including hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride, among other chemicals. These gases are emitted from a variety of industrial processes and commercial and household uses and do not occur naturally. Sometimes used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons.  A few weeks to thousands of years Varies (the highest is sulfur hexafluoride at 23,500)

    Source : www.epa.gov

    Greenhouse gas emissions

    Which countries emit the most greenhouse gases each year? How do they compare per person?

    Greenhouse gas emissions

    HomeCO₂ and GHG EmissionsGHG emissions

    by Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser

    Reuse our work freelyCite this research

    CO₂ and GHG Emissions

    By country Data explorer CO₂ emissions CO₂ by fuel GHG emissions By sector

    Atmospheric concentrations

    Climate impacts

    You can download our complete Our World in Data CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions database.

    In discussions on climate change, we tend to focus on carbon dioxide (CO2) – the most dominant greenhouse gas produced by the burning of fossil fuels, industrial production, and land use change. We cover CO2 – global emissions, annual, cumulative, per capita, and consumption-based emissions – in great detail in our CO2 emissions page.

    But CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas that is driving global climate change. There are a number of others – methane, nitrous oxide, and trace gases such as the group of ‘F-gases’ – which have contributed a significant amount of warming to date.

    Here we look at total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the world, plus breakdowns of other major gases including methane and nitrous oxide.

    Total greenhouse gas emissions


    Annual greenhouse gas emissions: how much do we emit each year?Per capita greenhouse gas emissions: how much does the average person emit?By gas: how much does each contribute to total greenhouse gas emissions?

    Annual greenhouse gas emissions: how much do we emit each year?

    Global greenhouse gas emissions

    1990 2018 Related:

    CO₂ data: sources, methods and FAQs

    How much CO2 do we emit globally each year? How has this changed over centuries?

    Global CO2 emissions

    What are the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions every year? How much do we collectively emit?

    This chart shows the change in global greenhouse gas emissions over time. Greenhouse gases are measured in ‘carbon dioxide-equivalents’ (CO2e).

    Today, we collectively emit around 50 billion tonnes of CO2e each year. This is more than 40% higher than emissions in 1990, which were around 35 billion tonnes.

    What are carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e)?

    Greenhouse gases have very different warming effects: one tonne of methane does not have the same impact on warming as one tonne of CO2. Carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) attempt to convert the warming impact of the range of greenhouse gases into a single metric.

    This is done by multiplying each gas by its 100-year ‘global warming potential’ value: the amount of warming one tonne of the gas would create relative to one tonne of CO2 over a 100-year timescale. For example, if methane has a GWP100 value of 28, we would multiply methane emissions in tonnes by 28 to get its CO2e figure.

    Total greenhouse gases are then measured as the sum for all of these gases.

    We explain carbon dioxide equivalents, and how greenhouse gases are measured in more detail here.

    Greenhouse gas emissions by country

    1990 2018 Related:

    CO₂ data: sources, methods and FAQs

    How much greenhouse gases do countries emit when we exclude land use change and forestry?

    Total greenhouse gas emissions, excluding land use

    Which countries emit the most CO2?

    CO2 emissions by country

    How do greenhouse gas emissions vary across the world?

    This interactive chart shows annual greenhouse gas emissions – the amount a given country produces each year – across the world. Again, this is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents.

    As is the case with CO2 emissions, China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases today. It emits around twice as much as the United States, which is the second largest emitter. This is followed by India, Indonesia and Russia.

    However, this is not the case when we adjust for population and look at per capita emissions.

    Three tips on how to interact with this map

    By clicking on any country on the map you see the change over time in this country.

    By moving the time slider (below the map) you can see how the global situation has changed over time.

    You can focus on a particular world region using the dropdown menu to the top-right of the map.

    Per capita greenhouse gas emissions: how much does the average person emit?

    Per capita greenhouse gas emissions, 2018

    Greenhouse gas emissions – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and

    F-gases – are summed up and measured in tonnes of carbon-dioxide

    equivalents (CO₂e), where “equivalent” means “having the same

    warming effect as CO₂ over a period of 100 years”. Emissions from land

    use change – which can be positive or negative – are taken into account.

    No data 2.5 t 5 t 7.5 t 10 t 15 t 20 t 25 t World 1990 2018 Related:

    CO₂ data: sources, methods and FAQs

    Where in the world do people emit the most CO2?

    Per capita CO2 emissions

    Where do our emissions of greenhouse gases come from?

    Greenhouse gas emissions by sector

    Total annual emissions allow us to see the world’s largest emitters in absolute terms. But they tend to tell a story of population – China and India, for example, are in the top three emitters, but are also the two most populous countries in the world.

    Source : ourworldindata.org

    Which is the dominant greenhouse gas leading to global warming?

    Answer (1 of 17): CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas because we burn fossil fuel everyday. We emit 39 billion tons of CO2 and 12 billion tons of CO2 equivalent of other greenhouse gases per year. Water vapor has a strong greenhouse effect, but at the same time, the clouds block solar radia...

    Which is the dominant greenhouse gas leading to global warming?

    17 Answers Anton Carver

    Former Staff Software Engineer at Google (company) (2003–2016)Dec 6

    Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas which causes global warming. That is because humans emit in very large quantities. Humans emit 37 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by burning fossil fuels and 43 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from all sources.

    That accounts for 76% of the warming potential at 100 years.

    Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data | US EPA

    Includes information on global greenhouse gas emissions trends, and by type of gas, by source, and by country.


    … (more) Related questions

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    What atmospheric gas is capable of increasing the greenhouse effect, which leads to global warming?

    Theodore Talbot

    BS Computer Science, minor in Anthropology University of MDDec 7

    Without the greenhouse effect the surface of the Earth would be a global frozen wasteland without much or any life. Almost all the greenhouse warming the Earth has is from water vapor. Water vapor is so abundant that it pretty much closes the absorption window of CO2 leaving almost nothing to be absorbed by CO2. CO2 also suffers from the diminishing effects of greenhouse gas concentration as each doubling in concetration has teh same effect as the last doubling. So CO2 is too abundant atrace gas to see uch effect after 280 ppm (we know this from paleoclimate history where feedback warming from

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    David Charles Leithauser

    I wrote a book on global warmingFeb 6

    Which is the dominant greenhouse gas leading to global warming?

    While CO2 (carbon dioxide) is not the most powerful greenhouse gas, humans are releasing it in so much greater quantities than any other that it is the dominant greenhouse gas.

    There is a frequent claim from the man-made global warming deniers that water vapor is the dominant gas in controlling global temperatures. This is deceptive. It is true that water vapor actually traps more heat than CO2. However, water vapor is not increasing, except in response to global warming. Since global warming, as the name implies, is the INCREASE in

    Timothy Goldstein

    Foreign Exchange Trader at Deutsche BankDec 10

    Water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas. It is around 5% of the atmosphere.

    Anyone who says that it is carbon dioxide, which is only 0.04% of the atmosphere, does not know what they are talking about.

    Related questions

    Which gas has the highest global warming potential of all the greenhouse gases?

    What proof do we have that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? How do we know it has caused global warming?

    Which greenhouse gas has the lowest global warming potential?

    How are greenhouse gas emissions influencing the climate?

    What is 'greenhouse gas', and what are the environmental effects of greenhouse gas?

    Kenneth Lane

    Former Retired CEODec 6

    Noting first that the greenhouse effect only occurs inside greenhouses, the largest-by-volume so-called greenhouse gas is water vapour.

    The typical “whipping boy” is carbon dioxide, which is o.o4% of all atmospheric gases to which human activities contribute less than 4%.

    … (more)

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    David Seven

    Studied at Northern Illinois UniversityDec 6

    Water vapor has the greatest greenhouse effect, but it's quantity in the atmosphere is controlled by temperature.

    CO2 is the predominant emitted greenhouse gas.

    Kelly Starks

    Former Aerospace and Other Engineering Contractor. at Many U.S. Aerospace Corporations as Consultant and Contract Eng. (1981–2021)Dec 6

    Water vapor completely overwhelms every other greenhouse gas.

    Clinate change advocates insist methane is the real culprit, literally demaning cow farts threaten our survival. ( the EU gas actually developed and the gov is promoting, animal feed with flatulence suppressors in it to control this. )

    Dave Wheatley

    Teacher (2006–present)Dec 7

    The dominant greenhouse gas by far is water vapour. That accounts for 95% of any effects.

    CO2, methane, NO and SO, and others sum up to the remaining 5%. CO2 is about 3.6%.

    So, if you believe greenhouse gasses are the demon that drive temperature and climate, then you have a problem: Man does not cause water vapour - it’s entirely natural. Problem. Hmmmmm, what to do. Oh! I know!! We’ll just re-write the literature and ignore water vapour!! Problem solved! Now it’s mostly CO2, which Man also, inconveniently, is almost not the cause of! Because, shock, horror! CO2 is mostly outgasses by the ocean

    Source : www.quora.com

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