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Climate Change

07.11.2017 at 13:34

The planet Earth passed through many different clime phases. It had periods of high average temperatures and periods of low average temperatures. However, these temperature variations occurred due to natural phenomenon, contrasting with the actual phenomenon, caused by humans. The evidence supporting this statement have been accumulating for many decades, the results of huge amounts of studies. One of the main evidence is the knowledge of how certain gases trap heat, how the climate system responds to the increase of these gases quantity in the atmosphere, and how humans and other factors influence the clime. This way scientist can measure gases concentration and model the clime behavior. Another evidence is the indications of historic clime and its changing.

Figure 1 - Global temperature time series: land and ocean components. From 2014 NOAA Global Report Supplemental Information.

 

The main greenhouse gases (GHG) are Carbon dioxide (CO2); Methane (CH4); Nitrous oxide (N2O); Fluorinated gases (Hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride). Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through the burning process, from respiration to burning of fossil fuels, solid waste, wood, and also as the result of some chemical reactions as the production of cement. The natural removal or “sequestration” of this gas from the atmosphere happens to its absorption by the plant as part of the biological carbon cycle, and also by chemical and physical processes known as the carbon cycle. Methane is another important GHG it is released during the decomposition of organic materials, as solid and liquid waste, and also by livestock and other agricultural practices. Another origin of Methane is the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Nitrous oxide is liberated during industrial and agricultural activities.

The Fluorinated gases are emitted by a variety of industrial processes. Although these gases are released in smaller amounts their Global Warming Potential is high. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) measures how long each gas remains in the atmosphere and how strongly it absorbs energy and consequently warm the atmosphere. GWP values convert GHG emissions data for non-CO2 gases into units of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

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