Greenhouse gases are present in the earth’s atmosphere that help warm the earth as they absorb thermal infrared radiation. These greenhouse gases range from ozone, nitrous oxide, methane, water vapor to carbon dioxide. They trap heat from the atmosphere and warms the earth’s surface which is good because without that action, the earth’s surface would be around −18° Celsius. The earth’s atmosphere has always maintained greenhouse gases that allow such action but the problem starts when exceedingly high amounts of these greenhouse gases starts to accumulate. As a result, the general effect is disastrous global warming.
Sources of Greenhouse Gases
Forests that are cut down for slash-and-burn agriculture and other forms of development and processed for production of goods and fuel release back into the atmosphere significant amounts of carbon dioxide. However, when left alone to regrow, forests also act as carbon dioxide sinks that remove gas from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. However some sources of greenhouse gases do not offer the same relationship. Another serious gas is methane which is emitted into the atmosphere through cattle digestive processes. The generation and transmission of electricity in the US produces 40% of carbon dioxide, 13% of nitrogen oxide, and 70% of sulfur dioxide that accounts for greenhouse gas emissions in the US alone.
Kinds of Greenhouse Gases
Greenhouse gases are also emitted from peat fires, decay of drained peatlands, post-burn decay, and forest fires. Anthropogenic CH4 sources, Fluorinated-gases (HFCs, PFCs and SF6), and N2O sources also account for greenhouse gas emissions. Industrial sectors sources include manufacture, mining, and construction. The economic sector also produces greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, trade industries, and waste (effluents). Many human activities also contribute to global warming. One counteracting factor that helps in bouncing sunlight off the earth’s atmosphere and surface are aerosol particles. They come from industrial and automobile processes.
Countries With Troubling Trends
These 10 countries have increased their greenhouse emissions by 4- to 25-fold over the last two-and-a-half decades since 1990. Causes are population growth, economic slump, poverty, civil strife, corruption, refugees, and unchecked resource use. Equatorial Guinea is number one with a 2,519% increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Number two is Mozambique with a 829% increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Number three is Turks and Caicos with greenhouse gas emissions increase of 702%. Number four is Cambodia at 553% increase of its greenhouse gas emissions. Number five is Botswana with a 514% increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Number six is Chad increasing its greenhouse gas emissions to 499%. Number seven is Maldives with a 456% increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Number eight is Laos with an increase of its greenhouse gas emissions by 437%. Number nine is Sudan with a 431% increase in its greenhouse gas emissions. Number ten is Namibia with a 421% increase in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.
Implications of Greenhouse Emissions
Measured greenhouse gas emissions increased by 47% from 1990 to 2012. The increased emissions of greenhouse gases due to human activities have led to serious global warming. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere and emissions from societal and other sources have changed over the years. The effects mostly negative will be felt by several generations as these greenhouse gases will remain in the earth’s atmosphere for hundreds of years. The most serious implication is global warming that has already began its destructive phase in ice melts, glacier melts, rising ocean levels, coral reef bleaching, desertification, and flora and fauna loss.