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Emissions Sustainability Quiz: GHGs

Emissions Sustainability Quiz: GHGs

Why are Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) a problem for the planet? ANSWER: They trap heat in the atmosphere and cause climate change

GHGs, or greenhouse gases, are gases that trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere, causing the planet's temperature to rise. The most significant GHGs include carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, which are released through human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial processes. The accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere is causing climate change, which has a range of harmful impacts on the environment, wildlife, and human societies. 

GHG stands for Greenhouse Gas, which is a gas that traps heat in the Earth's atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming. Here are the main GHGs and a brief explanation of each:

Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent GHG and is primarily emitted through the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and other land-use changes.

Methane (CH4)

Methane is produced by livestock, landfills, natural gas and oil systems, and other human activities.

Nitrous oxide (N2O)

Nitrous oxide is primarily emitted by agricultural activities, such as the use of fertilizers, as well as industrial processes and combustion of fossil fuels.

Fluorinated gases (F-gases)

Fluorinated gases is a group of GHGs that includes hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These gases are primarily used in refrigeration and air conditioning, semiconductors, and other industrial processes.

GHGs do occur naturally

You might hear that GHGs occur naturally and while that is true, it's important to note that while some GHGs occur naturally, human activities have significantly increased the concentrations of these gases in the atmosphere, leading to climate change and other environmental impacts. 

Why are GHGs a problem?

GHGs are a problem because they trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere, which causes the planet to warm up. This process is called the greenhouse effect, and it has serious consequences for the environment, including rising sea levels, more frequent and severe heatwaves, droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events. In addition, the increased temperatures can lead to the loss of habitats, displacement of animals and plants, and ultimately, the extinction of some species.

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