The Greenhouse Gases List …..a Re-Review

In this post:
We owe Al Gore an apology,
Sir David Attenborough at WEF DAVOS 2019,
The Main List; highlighting some of our present concerns,
A REAL replacement for HFCs????,
….a list at the bottom of other posts about the gasses, UX APPs and advertising

Which Greenhouse Gas (GHG) is involved in your production ??

Climate News
From: NPR
………………..Published:  8 June 2019
More People See That it is Climate Change after the Record Flooding in the US Midwest
“Somebody at my office told me, ‘We all owe Al Gore an apology,’ ” says Breigh Hardman, standing on a bridge over the flooded Arkansas River in nearby Fort Smith.

……….and this guy who has been pushing us to recognise that there isAn Inconvenient Truth” for the last 10+ years, Al Gore is just as interested in Economic Growth as he is in fixing Climate Change. This involvement comes in the form of the ESG factors (Environmental, Social and Governance) which are now built-in to the world of investment …………. These things are connected!

2:43 min   Al Gore: why sustainable investing makes financial sense

The World of Humans has gone in a completely different direction. Sir David Attenborough says “The Garden of Eden is no more”

I am, quite literally, from another age.  I was born during the geological age – Holocene.  The name given to the 12,000-year period of climatic stability that allowed humans to settle, farm and create civilisations.  Those conditions supported our unique minds, giving rise to inter-relations and trade in ideas and goods and making us the globally connected species we are today.  NOW, in the space of one human lifetime.  Indeed, in the space of my lifetime, all that has changed.  The Holocene has ended.  The Garden of Eden is no more.  We have changed the world so much that scientists say we are now in a new geological age – The Anthropocene – the Age of Humans.”

From the moment that Sir David Attenborough took the stage on day one of the World Economic Forum WEF DAVOS 2019 and declared that “The Garden of Eden is no more”, environmental issues topped the agenda through-out Davos 2019.

But even if we have reached the age of the Anthropocene, it appears that a healthy natural world is absolutely essential for this human society/age. Connecting a healthy natural world and a healthy economic world is the puzzle we need to solve.

The entire video is 22:00 min.  Here we start 10:00 min in…..   
Prince William interviews David Attenborough at Davos 2019



In my blog, I am more interested in talking about the progress we are making.  But I thought it would be OK to make this a “reference” post and remind us of the fact that there is a “list” of Greenhouse Gases. 

CO2 is not the only Greenhouse Gas !

Greenhouse Gas measuring
Instruments aboard UARS measure the concentration of gases in the atmosphere by looking through the Earth’s “limb”. This is the portion of the atmosphere that rises above the curvature of the Earth’s surface as seen from space. 

Which Greenhouse Gas is your production involved with ??

The list of Greenhouse Gases is longer than just CO2. This is the main list, highlighting some of our present concerns:

Water Vapor (H2O)

  • Water vapor is the gaseous phase of water. It is invisible, less dense than air and triggers convection currents that can create clouds.Being a component of Earth’s hydrosphere it is also a potent greenhouse gas. Use of water vapor, as steam, has been important to humans for a long time. It has increased with energy production and transportation, since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
  • Water Vapor is a Major Player in Climate Change. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite that measures humidity throughout the lowest 10 miles of the atmosphere, is gathering interesting information. The information shows that as surface temperature increases, so does atmospheric humidity. Dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere makes the atmosphere more humid. Since water vapor is itself a greenhouse gas, the increase in humidity amplifies the warming from the other greenhouse gases.
    When excess water vapour heats up, the combination is at the basis of extreme weather events. The increasing temperatures in the Arctic are affecting the path of the jet stream (more exaggerated waves), increasing the severity of storms, and lengthening individual weather events. (rain, storms, drought).
  • So if you business emits “Steam” – water vapor…you may be effecting climate change with more heat. Can you cool that water vapor? Can you send it direct to another business that needs heat/energy?

Carbon monoxide (CO)

Greenhouse Gas Carbon Monoxide
  • Carbon monoxide is not considered a direct greenhouse gas, mostly because it does not absorb terrestrial thermal IR energy strongly enough. However, CO is able to modulate the production of methane and tropospheric ozone. The Northern Hemisphere contains about twice as much CO as the Southern Hemisphere because as much as half of the global burden of CO comes from human activity, which is predominantly located in the northern hemisphere. Due to the spatial variability of CO, it is difficult to ascertain global concentrations, however, it appears as though they were generally increasing until the late 1980s, and have since begun to decline somewhat. One possible explanation is the reduction in vehicle emissions of CO since greater use of catalytic converters is being used.

Carbon dioxide (CO2)

  • Carbon Dioxide occurs naturally in Earth’s atmosphere as a trace gas. The current concentration has risen from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm. Natural sources include volcanoes, hot springs and geysers. Because carbon dioxide is soluble in water, it occurs in nature in groundwater, rivers, lakes, ice caps, glaciers, and seawater. It is present in oil and natural gas deposits. Since the Industrial Revolution, emissions fossil fuels and deforestation have increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Because it dissolves in water to form carbonic acid, carbon dioxide also causes ocean acidification.

    There was a leveling-off of global emissions for a while, but it continues to increase as of 2018 reports…………… We need to get back to 1975 levels of CO2.
CO2 levels

Methane (CH4) I believe this is much more urgent than most people understand. Look here.

  • Methane is the main part of “natural gas”. There are growing concerns about Methane. It forms when plants and animals (organic matter) decompose beneath the dense layers of the earth. Like oil and coal it is an attractive fuel and found both below ground and under the sea floor. Or it is biogas from composting 
    organic matter, of almost any kind, under anaerobic conditions. Rice fields generate large amounts of methane during plant growth. Cattle belch methane. This accounts for 16% of the world’s annual methane emissions into the atmosphere. Some studies have reported that livestock (cattle, chickens, and pigs) produce 37% of all human-induced methane. Some scientist believe that flatulence from dinosaurs may have warmed the Earth.
Greenhouse Gas Methane
Methane is the second most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Data made available by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center which has moved to ESS-DIVE. Graphic by Will Beaton.
  • Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas that is much stronger than carbon dioxide (CO2), 34 times stronger if compared over a 100-year period. While concentrations of methane in the atmosphere are about 200 times lower than carbon dioxide, methane was responsible for 60% of the equivalent radiative forcing from carbon dioxide since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Methane’s presence in the atmosphere can also affect the abundance of other greenhouse gases, such as ozone (O3), water vapor (H2O), and carbon dioxide.
    Records of atmospheric methane concentrations only go back about 800,000 years. During this time methane levels have varied between 300 and 800 parts per billion. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, atmospheric methane levels have increased to 1800 parts per billion. This is an increase of about 150% and continue to rise.
  • Homes use methane for domestic heating and cooking, as “natural gas”. The two main byproducts of burned natural gas/methane are carbon dioxide and water vapor. This makes it a cleaner fuel to burn. It produces about 30% less CO2 than oil and 45 % less than coal. Natural gas does not produce ash particles like coal and oil do, which adds to air pollution.  But first you have to burn it. Unburned, it is lethal.
  • Methane Leaks from Oil and Gas Fields Detected from Space
CO2 fracking

Nitrous oxide (N2O) Agricultural work here!

Greenhouse Gas Nitrous oxide
Nitrous Oxide enters the atmosphere through the use of nitrogen fertilizer in agriculture. Data made available by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. Graphic by Will Beaton.
  • Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as laughing gas or nitrous is a chemical compound; oxide of nitrogen. At room temperature, it is a colourless NON-flammable gas, with a slight metallic scent and taste. At hotter temperatures, nitrous oxide is a powerful oxidizer like molecular oxygen. It is soluble in water. Considered over a 100-year-period, nitrous oxide has 298 times the atmospheric heat-trapping ability of carbon dioxide (CO2). Yet, because of its low levels (less than 1/1000 that of CO2), its effect is less than one-third that of carbon dioxide, also less than water vapour and methane. Since 38% or more of the N2O entering the atmosphere is the result of human activity, and its concentration has increased 15% since 1750, control of nitrous oxide gas emissions is neccessary. Nitrous Oxide and Ozone layer depletionScientist beleive that nitrous oxide is “thinning the ozone layer”. Studies suggest that N2O emissions are now the most ozone-depleting substance (ODS). It appears to exceed CFCs and will stay in the atmosphere throughout the 21st century. Studies estimate that 30% of the N2O in the atmosphere is the result of human activity, released from agricultural nitrate fertilizers.

Ozone (O3)

  • Ozone exists as a gas and as an atmospheric layer that shields the planet Earth from certain rays from the sun.• Ozone in the “ozone layer” is what filters out sunlight wavelengths from about 200 nm UV rays to 315 nm. The part that remains, UV-B, after going through the ozone layer is what causes sunburn in humans and DNA damage in both plants and animals. These same wavelengths are also those that produce vitamin D in humans.
  • Tropospheric ozone or Low level ozone is an atmospheric pollutant coming from the reaction of sunlight on air containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides that react to form ozone at the source of the pollution. Ozone is not an emission from car engines or from industrial operations. It reacts with the pollutants as they pass out into the air or many kilometers down wind. These are the first steps in creating smog such as peroxyacyl nitrates, a powerful eye irritant. The atmospheric lifetime of tropospheric ozone is about 22 days. There is evidence that increased ground-level ozone reduces agricultural yields which interferes with photrosynthesis and stunts growth of some plant species.
Greenhouse Gas OZONE
  • Ozone as a greenhouse gas – lower level. Ozone was present at ground level before the Industrial Revolution.  Estimating the greenhouse gas affect of ozone is difficult because it is not present in uniform levels across the globe. The most accepted estimation suggests that tropospheric ozone effects climate about 25% proportionate to carbon dioxide. On a per-molecule basis, ozone effects the troposphere roughly 1,000 times stronger than carbon dioxide. But, tropospheric ozone has a short life. It decays in the atmosphere much quicker than carbon dioxide. Because of its short-life and not being uniform across the globe, tropospheric ozone only has very strong climate effects in certain regions. These can be as strong as 150% of carbon dioxide.
  • Ozone Layer – up high – The “ozone layer” prevents most harmful UVB wavelengths of ultraviolet light (UV light) from passing through the Earth’s atmosphere. These wavelengths cause skin cancersunburn and cataracts, which are thought to increase dramatically as a result of thinning ozone, as well as harming plants and animals.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

  • Chlorofluorocarbons also known by the DuPont brand name Freon. CFCs were used as refrigerants, propellants (in aerosol applications), and solvents. The manufacture of CFC has been phased out under the Montreal Protocol, because they deplete ozone in the upper atmosphere. Other products such as Hydroflourocorbons (HFCs) are replacing them. CFC problems are not limited to its role as an ozone depletor. This human made compound is also a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2. CFCs are inert. They concentrate in the ocean interior and are used to gauge oceanic time evolution, circulation and mixing.

Hydrofluorocarbons (incl. HCFCs and HFCs)

Greenhouse Gas HFC, CFC
  • Hydrofluorocarbons are organic compounds that contain fluorine and hydrogen atoms. They are the most common type of organofluorine . The same protoerants. They replace the older chlorofluorocarbons. They do not harm the ozone layer as much as the compounds they replace; but they do contribute to global warming. Their levels are increasing and causing international concern about their effect on climate. On 15 October 2016, negotiators from 197 nations reached a legally-binding accord to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in an amendment to the Montreal Protovcol. The same protocol that controls the use of CFCs.


A REAL replacement for HFCs????

Researchers from the UK and Spain have identified an eco-friendly solid that could replace the inefficient and polluting gases used in most refrigerators and air conditioners.

Plastic crystal to replace HFCs

When put under pressure, plastic crystals of neopentylglycol yield huge cooling effects – enough that they are competitive with conventional coolants. In addition, the material is inexpensive, widely available and functions at close to room temperature. Details are published in the journal Nature Communications.
Therefore, our demonstration of colossal BC effects in commercially available plastic crystals should immediately open avenues for the development of safe and environmentally friendly solid-state refrigerants.
Conventional cooling technologies rely on the thermal changes that occur when a compressed fluid expands. Most cooling devices work by compressing and expanding fluids such as HFCs and HCs. As the fluid expands, it decreases in temperature, cooling its surroundings.
With solids, cooling is achieved by changing the material’s microscopic structure. This change can be achieved by applying a magnetic field, an electric field or through mechanic force. For decades, these caloric effects have fallen behind the thermal changes available in fluids, but the discovery of colossal barocaloric effects in a plastic crystal of neopentylglycol (NPG) and other related organic compounds has levelled the playing field.


Am I right? Are there still business owners that are not familiar with terms and issues involved with the climate changes that may effect their business?

Greta Thunberg | Sweden

The entire video is 6:00 min. Here we start 4:00 min in…..
Greta Thunberg | Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2019

Al Gore endorses a candidate for US congress.

47 seconds

This is a series of posts about promoting Eco-Ethical USER EXPERIENCE (UX) to ward off the “temperature ticking time-bomb”. Can we make it easier for us all to master the art of “climate conscious buying”?
The Words
The Eco-Anxiety
Product Design Review – Form should still follow Function
The APPs – The different kinds
>Transportation APPs
>Clothing, etc. APPs
>Food APPs
>Carbon Footprint and more kinds of APPs
The Gases
Pulling in the Excess CO2

Did you learn something new about GHGs from this post?
Have you been reminded of an important connection between the GHGs and your products/production?

Your eco-concerns are the motive for my blog. Tell me what’s on your mind, good or bad.

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