Creating Sustainable Cities

Beyond Carbon: The Importance Of Addressing Other Greenhouse Gases

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions frequently command attention in the fight against climate change.

Jul 14, 2023

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions frequently command attention in the fight against climate change. The topics of lowering carbon footprints, switching to renewable energy sources, and lowering CO2 emissions con discuss in conversations. Even though these initiatives are essential, they only go so far in solving the issue. It's time to look beyond carbon and acknowledge other greenhouse gases (GHGs) ' vital role in our planet's warming. These gases—from nitrous oxide to methane—are stealthily escalating the climate disaster and need our attention. IN this blog article, we will look at the significance of tackling disregarded GHGs and explain why they must incorporate into our efforts to mitigate climate change.

  • The Greenhouse Gas Puzzle

  • Methane: The Potent And Elusive Emitter

  • Nitrous Oxide: The Stealthy Climate Culprit

  • Unmasking Other Lesser-Known GHGs

  • The Global Impact: Beyond Carbon's Shadow

  • Major Sources Of Non-CO2 GHG Emissions

  • Unveiling Hidden GHG Emitters

  • A Silent Contributor To GHG Emissions A Silent Contributor To GHG Emissions

  • Comprehensive Climate Strategies

  • Conclusion

The Greenhouse Gas Puzzle

Climate change is a complicated puzzle. Due to its abundance and long-term consequences, CO2 often gets the spotlight. Other greenhouse gases (GHGs) contribute significantly to global warming. GHGs, including methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), trap heat differently. Methane, natural gas's main component, warms. Despite its shorter lifespan, methane traps heat 28 times better than CO2 over 100 years. It comes from livestock, rice, fossil fuel, and waste management. Methane reduction is essential for climate change mitigation. Nitrous oxide, however, is underestimated but vital. Agriculture, industry, and combustion emit it. Nitrous oxide can exist in the atmosphere for over a century and has 265 times the warming potential of CO2. Reduced emissions can change the climate.

Methane: The Potent and Elusive Emitter

Methane, sometimes called the "forgotten greenhouse gas," poses a severe risk to the planet's climate. It is a potent heat-trapping gas with much more immense global warming potential (GWP) than carbon dioxide. Even though it might not get as much attention as CO2, reducing methane emissions is essential for successful climate action. The agricultural industry is a significant contributor to methane emissions. During the digestive process known as enteric fermentation, livestock, notably cattle and sheep, create methane. Methane emissions will affect by manure management and the rotting of organic waste in landfills. Implementing procedures like controlling waste systems, enhancing feed efficiency, and extracting methane from landfills can assist in lowering these emissions. The oil and gas sector is a substantial additional source of methane. Methane leaks occur during the production, production, and transportation of fossil fuels. Pipelines, storage facilities, and drilling operations are all potential sources of these leaks. Methane leaks in the sector can reduce by enacting strict monitoring and control procedures and utilizing cutting-edge technologies. Methane is also released naturally from wetlands and permafrost. Even though it is more difficult to control these emissions, learning about them and creating plans to safeguard these habitats can help with overall methane reduction efforts. Collaboration between governmental entities, businesses, and individuals is necessary to reduce methane emissions. Controlling this elusive yet potent greenhouse gas requires establishing regulatory standards, funding research and development, and promoting sustainable practices.

Nitrous Oxide: The Stealthy Climate Culprit

Silently contributing to global warming is nitrous oxide. Both natural and anthropogenic sources generate nitrous oxide, but these two human endeavors are the most common contributors. Emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide are primarily attributable to agriculture. Nitrous oxide is a gas that can be released into the air when farmers use synthetic fertilisers, especially those containing nitrogen. Nitrogen-rich crop production, manure application, and livestock management are all practices that can contribute to these emissions. Emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide can reduce by implementing practices such as sustainable agriculture, precision farming, and optimized fertilizer use. Nitrous oxide also escapes during industrial activities, including manufacturing chemicals and burning fossil fuels. Nitrous oxide occurs in several factories during nylon and nitric acid production. Industrial nitrous oxide emissions can lower by switching to cleaner manufacturing methods, optimizing processes, and investing in emission abatement equipment. It is important to note that nitrous oxide is not only a potent greenhouse gas but also contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer. Therefore, addressing nitrous oxide emissions holds a dual benefit for climate change mitigation and ozone protection.

Unmasking Other Lesser-Known GHGs

Some lesser-known greenhouse gases contribute to climate catastrophe. These often overlooked GHGs include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). Air cooling, refrigeration, and aerosol propellants use synthetic hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). They last decades and have high global warming potential. HFCs must be replaced with environmentally benign hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) to reduce climate change. Synthetic gases like perfluorocarbons (PFCs) serve a purpose in semiconductor and aluminum fabrication. PFCs have tremendous global warming potential and last thousands of years in the atmosphere. Advanced technologies, industrial efficiency, and alternative materials and processes are needed to reduce PFC emissions. Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) will use in electrical equipment and the production of magnesium and aluminum. It has a high global warming potential and can persist in the atmosphere for centuries. Minimizing SF6 emissions involves enhancing leak detection and repair practices, developing alternative insulating materials, and adopting more efficient electrical equipment. Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), although present in relatively lower quantities, is gaining attention due to its increasing use in the electronics industry for plasma etching and cleaning processes. It has a long atmospheric lifetime and a potent warming potential. Encouraging industry-wide emission reduction efforts, implementing recycling and recovery systems, and exploring alternatives can help mitigate NF3 emissions. Addressing these lesser-known greenhouse gases is crucial for comprehensive climate action. By expanding our focus beyond the commonly discussed GHGs, we can develop more effective strategies to tackle the multi-faceted challenges of global warming.

The Global Impact: Beyond Carbon's Shadow

Although carbon dioxide is the principal cause of climate change, other greenhouse gases (GHGs) have a global impact. These gases trap heat and accelerate global warming. Methane, nitrous oxide, and other GHGs increase warming beyond CO2. According to the IPCC, non-CO2 GHGs contribute 40% of human-caused radiative forcing. In climate change mitigation, they matter. These gases have different atmospheric lifetimes and warming potentials. Methane and nitrous oxide have shorter but stronger effects than carbon dioxide, which lasts hundreds of years. Reducing shorter-lived GHG emissions can provide immediate climatic benefits. Non-CO2 GHGs affect the world beyond temperature. These gases affect air quality, agriculture, and ecological equilibrium. Methane contributes to ground-level ozone, a pollutant that harms crops and humans. Nitrous oxide affects water and soil fertility. Thus, protecting the climate and environment requires addressing non-CO2 GHGs. GHG mitigation requires global initiatives. This practice encompasses energy efficiency, greener technology, sustainable agriculture, and circular economy ideas. We can reduce climate change and preserve the earth for future generations by addressing non-CO2 GHGs and carbon dioxide.

Major Sources of Non-CO2 GHG Emissions

Agriculture and cattle emit considerable non-CO2 greenhouse gases. These sectors produce large amounts of greenhouse gases, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Enteric fermentation in livestock, especially cattle, releases methane. Methane will release during manure storage and treatment. Feed efficiency, diet changes, and waste management can lower livestock methane emissions. Rice farming and synthetic fertiliser use also release nitrous oxide. Nitrogen-based fertilisers release nitrous oxide throughout numerous processes. Precision farming methods can reduce agricultural nitrous oxide emissions, including crop-specific fertilizer application, controlled-release fertilizers, and sustainable soil management. Methane, nitrous oxide, and other agricultural practices emit non-CO2 greenhouse gases. Burning crop leftovers release CO and NO, which warm the atmosphere. Conservation tillage, crop rotation, and agroforestry reduce emissions and improve sustainability. Technology, management, and farmer and stakeholder awareness are needed to reduce non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and livestock. We can reduce climate change by encouraging sustainable agriculture and lowering its environmental impact.

Unveiling Hidden GHG Emitters

Fossil fuel production and use emit non-CO2 greenhouse gases. Oil and gas extraction, refining, and delivery can leak methane. Leak detection and repair programmed, innovative technologies, and best practices can reduce emissions. Chemical manufacturing emits greenhouse gases. HFCs, PFCs, and SF6 are high-GWP chemicals released during chemical manufacture. Cleaner manufacturing processes, alternatives, and low-carbon and environmentally friendly technologies can reduce chemical production emissions. Non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions come from cement and steel. Steel and cement manufacturers produce carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide during calcination. Energy-efficient technologies, optimized production methods, and alternative raw materials can cut emissions in various industries. Industrial non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions can reduce by regulation, technology, and industry collaboration. Emission reduction measures, energy efficiency improvements, and sustainable industrial practices can minimize the impact of these hidden GHG emitters.

A Silent Contributor to GHG Emissions A Silent Contributor to GHG Emissions

Land use change contributes to non-CO2 greenhouse gases. Deforestation, land degradation, and converting natural ecosystems into agricultural or urban areas produce large amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Agriculture, logging, and urbanization cause deforestation, which releases lots of CO2. Through photosynthesis, trees absorb CO2. Carbon released from trees contributes to the greenhouse effect. To reduce land use change emissions, protect and restore forests, promote sustainable logging, and reforest. Land conversion for agriculture often entails non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. Draining wetlands for rice cultivation creates anaerobic soil, which produces methane. Water management and rice agriculture strategies like intermittent floods can lower methane emissions. In agriculture, land use change influences nitrous oxide emissions. Synthetic fertilizers used to convert natural ecosystems to croplands release nitrous oxide. Conservation agriculture, agroforestry, and organic farming minimize nitrous oxide emissions and increase soil health. Sustainable land management, conservation, and responsible land-use policies are needed to reduce land-use change-related emissions. We may minimize land use change-related non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by maintaining ecosystems, using sustainable agriculture, and repairing degraded land.

Comprehensive Climate Strategies

Addressing all greenhouse gases (GHGs), including CO2, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and others, is essential to combating climate change. Climate action must include all GHGs. Measurement and Monitoring: GHG emission sources and trends must be accurately measured. Robust monitoring systems help governments, industries, and organizations identify hotspots, assess progress, and make emission reduction decisions. Policy and Regulation: Governments must create policies and rules to reduce emissions across sectors. Setting emissions targets, adopting carbon pricing mechanisms, and encouraging renewable energy use can help economies transition to a low-carbon future. Technological Innovations: Clean technology and renewable energy are essential for GHG reduction. Research and development of new solutions, including carbon capture and storage, green hydrogen production, and sustainable transportation systems, can accelerate the low-carbon economy. Energy Transition: Comprehensive climate policies include switching to renewable energy. Energy efficiency and solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal deployment can minimize CO2 emissions and reliance on carbon-intensive sources. Sustainable Land Use and Agriculture: Reforestation, afforestation, and soil management can absorb carbon and reduce land use change emissions. Deforestation, sustainable agriculture, and forest conservation are also significant. Circular Economy: Recycling, reusing, and reducing trash can cut GHG emissions. We may lower production and consumption carbon footprints by optimizing resource utilization, fostering eco-design, and adopting circular supply chains. Education and Awareness: GHGs and sustainable practices must educate about. Empowering individuals to make informed choices, supporting sustainable lifestyles, and encouraging climate-conscious behaviour can drive collective action and assist broader climate measures. Governments, companies, communities, and individuals must collaborate to address all GHGs. Comprehensive climate plans that include all greenhouse gases can prevent climate change and promote a sustainable future.


We must consider other greenhouse gases as we face climate change. Despite their low abundance, methane, nitrous oxide, and other lesser-known gases contribute significantly to the climate issue. These gases are vital to the problem. We can improve climate change mitigation by studying non-CO2 greenhouse gas sources and their effects. Industrial processes, land use change, agriculture, and livestock emissions release these gases into the atmosphere. We can reduce these emissions by improving agriculture, introducing cleaner technology, and supporting sustainable land management. Global warming, air quality, ecosystems, and future generations depend on addressing non-CO2 greenhouse gases. We can tackle climate change more effectively by addressing all greenhouse gases. This practice requires government, industry, community, and individual cooperation. Governments can incentivize emission reductions while businesses embrace cleaner technologies and sustainable practices. Conscious consumer decisions, energy conservation, and ecological activities can help. We must handle all greenhouse gases to achieve sustainability. We can reduce climate change and create a sustainable world by going beyond carbon and adopting comprehensive climate measures.

Read More

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) : IPCC Website

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) : UNFCCC Website

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) : FAO Website