There are many ways to reduce CO2 emissions and many companies are taking the initiative to go green. One of them is the reduction of energy that we use every day such as reduced use of cars, heating, and other power tools (read reviews about Deals on DeWALT Impact Drivers). But do you know that other than CO2, methane and other gasses also damage the climate?
The climate impact of other greenhouse gases other than CO2 is often stated as a multiple of the climate impact of CO2. This is called their greenhouse gas potential. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also known as the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (IPCC), a methane molecule, for example, is around 28 times more effective than CO2. It remains in the atmosphere for about 12 years. Every greenhouse gas has its own characteristics and disadvantages.
CO2, on the other hand, can stay there for up to 500 years or longer, until CO2 that has an impact on the climate ends up in the deep sea via natural processes (a single molecule actually only lingers in the atmosphere for a few years, after which it is exchanged with CO2 molecules from the oceans refers to the time until natural processes finally remove the CO2 molecule from the atmosphere). Estimates of how many years or even centuries CO2 will have a climate impact differ, however – they are usually over 100 years.
In the long term, CO2 emissions must decrease
Before the industrial revolution, the concentration of CO2 was significantly lower than it is today and was around 0.028 percent by volume. In the official climate forecasts, researchers calculate what happens in the atmosphere under certain scenarios, such as a doubling of the CO2 concentration. A doubling by the end of this century could raise the average temperature between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees.
Other climate-relevant gases must also be included in the calculations and thus also in the climate debates. Large sources of methane can also significantly change the climate. For example, methane can be released through the escape from permafrost soils, animal husbandry, but also through the tropics and other wetlands. These processes will have to be examined more closely in the future.
Temperature rise less than two degrees Celsius
The political demands to keep global warming as low as possible have been clear for years: emissions must be significantly lower in the coming years and decades. According to the UN climate conference in Paris, the countries have agreed to control emissions so that the temperature increase is less than two degrees. In concrete terms, this means that the individual countries have to set themselves ambitious goals.
In Germany, emissions are falling continuously but will have to be reduced much more drastically in the coming decades.
Starting points for this are climate-neutral energy generation, less traffic and industrial emissions, more ecological forms of agriculture, and also different consumer behavior. A CO2 tax is also being discussed again and again.