GREENHOUSE EFFECT : THREE KEY GREENHOUSE GASES AND HOW DO THEY DIFFER IN ATMOSPHERIC LIFETIMES
Except water vapour, the 3 key greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and the halocarbons or CFCs (gases containing fluorine, chlorine and bromine).
HOW DO THEY DIFFER IN ATMOSPHERIC LIFETIMES :
The lifetime of CO2 is most difficult to determine, because there are many processes that remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Between 65% and 80% of carbon dioxide released into the air dissolves into the ocean over a period of 20–200 yes.. Left CO2 is removed by slower processes including chemical weathering and rock formation. It shows once in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide continue to affect climate for thousands of years.
Methane is removed from the atmosphere by chemical reaction and can be for about 12 years. Thus its effect is relatively short-lived.
Compounds containing chlorine and/or fluorine (CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, PFCs) shows a huge number of different chemical species which can last in the atmosphere for a specific length of time means from less than a year to many thousands of years…
WARMING POTENTIALS :
Global Warming potential are used to compare the capabilities of different greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.
– Carbon dioxide can be used as the base for all the calculations therefore its global warming potential is 1.2
The higher the GWP, then more heat the specific gas can keep in the atmosphere. So we can say that more GWP gases enter the atmosphere the more our climate will change.
The GWP of a greenhouse gas decreases as time passes, but with fluorinated gases, their global warming potential is very high it takes a very long time to lose their ability to trap heat.