Is the climate really changing?
Yes, indeed. In fact, the face of Earth has been changing throughout history and it continues to do so even today. But these changes have been triggered by different factors in different periods. These causes in the past included natural phenomena, but the most recent causes, scientists believe, are human induced. According to them, development activities around the world have added massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the air, which are capable of accelerating climate change.
Greenhouse gases are those that trap the heat in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and fluorinated gases are the principal gases in the atmosphere. known to contribute to global warming.
CO2 enters the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal), solid waste, trees, and wood products. CO2 is removed from the atmosphere or sequestered, by green plants, by absorption for photosynthesis.
CH4 is emitted from livestock and other agricultural practices and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills and from inundated vegetation.
N2O is emitted during agricultural and industrial activities and from combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste.
Fluorinated gases like hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride are synthetic, powerful greenhouses gases that are emitted from a variety of industrial activities.
Fluorinated gases are sometimes used as substitutes for ozone depleting substances. These gases, although typically emitted in small quantities, are potent greenhouse gases, therefore are referred to as High Global Warming Potential (GWP) gases.