Where Greenhouse Gases Come From

Where Greenhouse Gases Come From
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are human induced air pollutants that are beginning to become a concern for people on an international scale. As adopted by scientific consensus GHGs trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, which plays a significant role in the climate change events that are evident today. To understand where they are coming from, here are a few top emitters from various sources:

1. Energy Supply

The burning of fossil fuels for electricity and heat is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gases. However, with the problems fossil fuels present, the industries of renewable energy have become available in providing energy with zero greenhouse gas emissions.

2. Transportation

Also closely associated with the burning of fossil fuels, “almost all of the world’s transportation energy comes from petroleum-based fuels, largely gasoline and diesel.” However, hybrid cars with no emissions are becoming more widely available and expect to continue to do so down the road.

3. Industry

Greenhouse gas emissions via industry stem primarily from the on-site burning of fossil fuels for energy. For instance, this includes many industrial manufacturing entities. However, energy efficiency optimization allows for GHGs from the industrial source to decrease while also becoming economically viable as it decreases energy costs.

4. Forrestry

The forestry sector emits greenhouse gases mostly from the process of deforestation and land clearing. However, fires and the decay of peat soils may also play a part in GHG emissions from forestry. Regardless, the application of sustainability to the deforestation process allows for it to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

5. Agriculture

The management of agricultural facilities account for the majority of greenhouse gases from the agriculture sector. Areas spanning “soil quality, livestock, rice production and biomass burning” may, for example, influence the emissions of GHGs from agriculture. Therefore, similarly to the forestry sector, agricultural methods that enforce sustainability and zero emissions are consistently introduced to the agricultural realm.

As it stands, the burning of fossil fuels account for the vast majority of GHG emissions. It is an industry that dates back to the industrial revolution of the 19thcentury and is somewhat recently facing challenges due to the discoveries of environmental harm and climate change. However, the renewable energy industry is able to offset some of the greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels with its development potential. The use and application of energy efficiency optimization and sustainability practices may also play a large part in establishing a clean energy future.

Although the shift has not yet happened on a complete scale, it is beginning to make achievements with the successes of the environmental movement. Climate change is a global issue that is not only categorized by nation, but by source as well. By addressing climate change at the source, each nation is able to do its part in resolving the global issue.

Jugal Patel

Photo: Allan Crain