20 Jul

Sources of greenhouse gas emissions

Sources of greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas

Emission is becoming a worrying concern for all of us and it gradually but surely is destroying our eco-balance and effecting global temperatures and climate changes. If it keeps continuing at the rate it is going, the days won't be far that the lasting adverse effects of greenhouse gas emission would begin to threaten the very existence of our society. The greenhouse gases like methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide are playing havoc on our environment. These greenhouse gases trap the heat of sun into earth's atmosphere causing increase in the temperature-global warming.

Major sources of the greenhouse gases:

1. Burning of fuel - Commercial and residential buildings need a lot of fuel to be burnt, emitting huge amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As compared to carbon dioxide, methane is twenty times more effectual at entrapping the heat in the atmosphere. Methane is obtained from several resources such as bovine flatulence, paddles, fossil fuel manufacture and bacteria in bogs. Flood in the fields decays the organic matter, and releases methane in the atmosphere. Nylon and nitric acid production, use of fertilizers in the agriculture, cars with catalytic converters and burning of organic matter are main sources of nitrous oxide. More than 33% of carbon dioxide emission comes from engines of light trucks and cars. Vehicles that have poor mileage contribute maximum to the global warming.

2. Modern agriculture - The way we use our land is one of the major source of greenhouse gas. Modern agriculture practices that are used to grow cereals, breed animals, grow vegetables and fruits and other foods for human consumption, and all these agricultural practices lead to emission of greenhouse gases including nitrous oxide and methane.

3. Deforestation - There is no doubt that in last few decades, deforestation has become one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide is the main gas emitted, in addition to small amounts of nitrous oxide and methane. Tropical rainforests are very crucial for regulating the regional and global climate patterns. The environment can get tremendously affected if these forests are destroyed. Rainforests remove the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by the process of photosynthesis.

4. Population growth - Another source of greenhouse gas is the fact that human population is growing, and in addition to increase in the fuel usage for transportation, energy and power, people need to be fed, which leads to increased deforestation for the purpose of agriculture.

5. Natural causes - There are some natural causes that emits greenhouse gases which
in turn causes global warming as well. Temperature of the planet is affected by changes in the shape of orbit of Earth around the Sun, and also by the tilt of its axis because both these factors affect the amount of solar energy received by the planet. As Sun is the only source of energy responsible for functioning of Earth's climate system, change in output of solar energy can lead to change in the climate, especially, global warming. Some of the natural causes include;

a) Volcanic eruption- aerosol - Emission of volcanic eruptions that blocks the sunlight, and causes short-term cooling on affected parts of the earth. The volcanic eruptions emit carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, however, most scientists believe that humans are far more responsible for the damage as compared to volcanic eruptions.

b) Change in ocean current - This is also a natural cause of global warming because rise and fall of current creates global change. Oceanic currents have considerable effect on the changes of heat pattern around the earth. This effect varies from region to region, and may also be related to rotation of sun.

In summary, the greenhouse gas emissions are being produced by almost each and every imaginable human activity. Hence, in order to control global warming, we need to make some lifestyle changes that are more appreciative of environmental health. We also need to start developing and using the renewable sources of energy. Global warming needs to be controlled now.


Camila Dietrich

Camila is passionate about helping people find innovative new ways to green. She enjoy writing poetry in her spare time.

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