Which Type Of Greenhouse Gas Is Emitted The Most (%, & Volume)

There are different types of greenhouse gases that are emitted by human activities.

Everyone knows about carbon dioxide, but what about the others like methane, nitrous oxide and the F Gases?

In this quick guide, we look at which greenhouse gases are emitted the most by %, and volume.

 

Summary – Which Type Of Greenhouse Gas Is Emitted The Most?

Globally, there is far more carbon dioxide emitted (in tonnes) that any other greenhouse gas (and around 65% of CO2 comes from fossil fuels and industrial processes)

Methane and Nitrous Oxide are the two next most abundantly emitted GHGs

The F Gases make up most of the rest of the emissions

On a country level, different greenhouse gases can be emitted in different %’s

In the two biggest emitting countries in the world, China and the US, CO2 is the most commonly emitted GHG

Something that might be considered in addition to how much greenhouse gas ends up in the atmosphere, is how much CO2 ends up in oceans, the soil, and plants and vegetation (and forests).

 

Other relevant considerations for GHGs, other than which GHG traps the most heat, might be:

 

Which Type Of Greenhouse Gas Is Emitted The Most Globally

Globally, the gases by type, in thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, are:

  • Carbon Dioxide – 35.46 million, thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (kt CO₂e), in 2012
  • Methane – 8.01 million, thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (kt CO₂e), in 2012
  • Nitrous Oxide – 3.15 million, thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (kt CO₂e), in 2012
  • HFC Gases – 834,435.57 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (kt CO₂e), in 2010
  • SF Gases – 174,905.39 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (kt CO₂e), in 2010
  • PFC Gases – 78,622.31 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (kt CO₂e), in 2010

– ourworldindata.org

 

In 2014:

  • Carbon Dioxide – 76% (65% from fossil fuels and industrial processes, and 11% from forestry and other land use)
  • Methane – 16%
  • Nitrous Oxide  – 6%
  • F Gases – 2%

– epa.gov

 

Which Type Of Greenhouse Gas Is Emitted The Most In The United States

In 2016:

  • Carbon Dioxide – 81%
  • Methane – 10%
  • Nitrous Oxide – 6%
  • Fluorinated Gases – 3%

– epa.gov

 

Which Type Of Greenhouse Gas Is Emitted The Most In China

  • In 2016, China emitted 10.2 Giga tonnes of CO2 (one gigatonne is equal to one billion tonnes)
  • Methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and fluorinated gases collectively account for nearly 20 percent of the country’s total emissions

– chinapower.csis.org

 

Sources

1. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data

2. https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions

3. https://chinapower.csis.org/china-greenhouse-gas-emissions/

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