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Greenhouse Gases

Climate change is irrefutable and the latest IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (ipcc.c/report/ar6/wg1/#TS outlines criticality of the issue, highlighting the consequences of inaction.  As well as governments it is critical that individuals take responsibility.

Greenhouse gases effectively trap heat in atmosphere causing the earth to warm.  The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) identifies carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases as the major contributors to climate change.  The gases all have differing impacts on climate change, so their Global Warming Potential (GWP) is used to convert them into tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e).  Methane is 25 times as harmful as CO2 and fluorinated gases can be 15,000 times as harmful.  In 2019 the UK’s emissions comprised 80% carbon dioxide, 12% methane, 5% nitrous oxide and 3% fluorinated gases.

How human activities contribute to the UK emissions?

To be able to do something about climate change, we need to know what activities contribute to the emissions driving climate change  Every year the government publishes a breakdown of emissions based on their source.  The main sources of emissions are shown in the figure below, the bigger the word the greater the contribution to emissions.

Find out about impacts of climate change
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Sir David Attenborough explains how humans can take charge of our future and save our planet. 


Invest 8.5 minutes to secure the future for the planet.