Carbon dioxide may be the most significant greenhouse gas (GHG), but it is not the only one.
Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Sulfur Hexaflouride (SF6) are all at relatively very low concentrations in the atmosphere. However, each of them is a much more potent GHG than CO2, and consequently they also need to be regulated and significantly reduced to help reduce global warming.
The warming impact is given below equivalent to the amount of CO2 that would create the same level of warming. The figures are startling. CO2 is currently at 420 ppm. CH4 and N2O together have as much impact as a 50% increase in atmospheric CO2.
At the very least we must stop the leakage of Methane and Nitrous Oxide as soon as we possibly can.
- Methane (click to access source data)
Warming impact: 1,900 ppb x 84
Equivalent to 160 ppm of CO2
Persistence – has a half life of about 9 years.
- Nitrous Oxide
Warming impact: 333 ppb x 300
Equivalent to 100 ppm of CO2
Persistence: 114 years
- Sulfur Hexaflouride
Warming impact: 10.5 pp.trillion x 23,000 x
Equivalent to 0.25 ppm of CO2
Persistence: 1,000 years
Data source: NOAA.GOV