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A Guide to GHG (Greenhouse Gases)

With the international focus on preserving planet Earth, the discussion of greenhouse gases has gotten widespread attention.

It may seem somewhat ironic that certain chemicals in the earth’s atmosphere act as greenhouse gases. Most of these gases occur naturally and allow sunlight to filter freely and safely to the earth.

There are two types of greenhouse gases: Naturally occurring and synthetic.
those that occur naturally include:

. Carbon dioxide
. Water vapor
. Nitrous oxide

Synthetic gases include:
. Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
. Hydrofluorocarbons (HCFC)
. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)
. Perchlorofluorocarbons (PFC)

It is essential to know the sources and uses of each of these synthetic greenhouse gases in order to understand the nature of GHG reporting. A naturally occurring greenhouse gas is organic. Synthetic greenhouse gases are inorganic.

Sulfur Hexafluouride (SF6)
SF6 is colorless, non-toxic, non-flammable and odorless. However it is extremely potent.

It is mainly used in the electrical industry for oil filled circuit breakers contain PCBs as well as tracer gases in lab testing and medical equipment.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HCFC)
This type of greenhouse gas is organic and used chiefly for cooling and as a refrigerant.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)
CFC by nature contain atoms composed of chlorine, fluorine and carbon. CFCs are used most frequently in the manufacture of refrigerants, blowing agents for foam, aerosol sprays, solvents and packing materials. CFCs in chemical form are non toxic and non flammable.

Perchlorofluorocarbons (PFC)
PFCs contain carbon and fluorine atoms. The correct identification for PFCs is a group of toxic chemicals that include PFOAs, PFOS, GenX, and other chemicals. These are mainly Per- and polyfluoroalkyl based substances.

PFCs are found in several places:
. Workplaces
. Drinking water
. Living organisms including the human body
. Food and food packaging
. Commercial products such as fire fighting foams, paint, polishes, waxes, water repellents, no stick products and stain repellents.

What is a GHG Report?
Now that you know what greenhouse gases are, where they are found and how they are used, the next important step is to know what a GHG report is and its purpose.

In order to measure the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it is necessary to create a method of measuring that volume.

Before that occurs, greenhouse gases are monitored. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides data and information through its National Centers for Environmental Information relevant to climate monitoring and the affect of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere in relation to climate change.

How are Greenhouse Gases Measured?
In order to know the potential for greenhouses gases to warm the earth’s atmosphere, GHG emissions are first measured as carbon dioxide equivalents. These GHG emission gases are multiplied according to Global Warming Potential, taking into consideration that many types of gases are more effective per unit, per mass which results in increased warming of the earth’s atmosphere.

The Origin of Reporting on GHG
Back in 2009, the U.S. EPA created a Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program that enables public, professional, commercial and industrial reviews of collected data on greenhouses gases. This is what is known as GHG reporting.

Like many environmental reports, GHG reports allow those concerned about greenhouse gas emissions to learn more about the scientific, demographic and major environmental issues as reported by 41 categories of reporters that provide detailed subparts for reference and compliance uses. This is why a GHG report is good for environmentally responsible, interested parties.

A GHG report may not be good if the reporting is not comprehensively prepared and unbiased. A comprehensive GHG report should include data that also provides actual and projected reductions in greenhouse gases as well as relevancy to the effect on climate and extreme changes in weather patterns.

In addition, it is also important that these reports contain an accurate graphic representation of the data presented so it creates a visual framework for useful environmental changes.

It isn’t necessary to be an environmental expert or scientist to read a GHG report. Note that when searching for a GHG report, there are two types: date collected by corporations and commercial businesses and those collected by the government or environmental organizations.

Define the nature of your need to find the most information reported on greenhouse gases. However, it is also important to research the sources of the data to ensure accuracy and relevancy.