Are these Main Greenhouse Gases causing Global Warming?

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Global warming is a complex and much debated topic. Basically global warming is the warming of the Earth due to an increase in greenhouse gases.

What are these human generated gases that are causing the problem?

Let’s take a look at the 4 major greenhouse gases that are generated by humans.
How much any one greenhouse gas influences global warming depends on three key factors. 

How much of it exists in the atmosphere?

How long it remains in the atmosphere?

 How effective it is at trapping heat? 

This is referred to as its global warming potential, or GWP, and is a measure of the total energy that a gas absorbs over a given period of time compared to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon dioxide.

carbon dioxide

Carbon Dioxide 

Once released into the atmosphere co2 will stay around from 100 to 1000 years. Carbon Dioxide is the most abundant human caused greenhouse gas and accounts for about 76%.of human generated greenhouse gases.


It stays around in the atmosphere for about a decade.Methane accounts for only about 16% of human generated greenhouse gases. However, it has a much greater global warming impact than carbon dioxide and a GWP score 25 times greater than carbon dioxide.

Nitrous Oxide

It accounts for only 6 percent of human generated greenhouses. Methane stays around about 100 years, however it has a GWP 300 times greater than carbon dioxide.

Fluorinated Gasses

Fluorinated gases are man-made. There are four main categories.

  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) 
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) 
  • Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).

These gases account for 2 % of human generated gases, however they have a GWP ranging from 1000 times to 10,000 times greater than carbon dioxide. Replacing these HFCs and properly disposing of them would be an important climate  action the world could take.


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