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Main Anthropogenic Sources of Greenhouse Gases – Methane and Nitrous Oxide

Autor:   •  December 28, 2018  •  Essay  •  426 Words (2 Pages)  •  172 Views

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Main Anthropogenic Sources of Greenhouse Gases – Methane and Nitrous Oxide

Human sources of methane have increased since de Industrial Revolution. Human activities such as fuel production and livestock are the two main sources, but there are many more than affect too. Some of them are landfills, biomass burning, rice agriculture and biofuels.

Fossil fuel production, distribution and use is the main source of methane, being the 33% of the total production of this gas. This emissions are produced when the natural gas, coal or petroleum are extracted from the earth. Additional methane emissions are created during the transportation or refinement of the fossil fuels. At the end, methane is also made during the combustion of cars.

Livestock farming is an important source of methane too, this activity is responsible for the 27% of the total emissions and is basically caused by the enteric fermentation from farm animals like cows, sheep and goats. Enteric fermentation occurs because of the digestion of this animals and the microorganisms that live in their stomachs, that time later are released by them.

Landfills and waste are another important methane emissions sources, this methane is made by the decomposition of biodegradable solid waste in landfills as well as animals and human waste streams. This is responsible for the 16% of the total gas emissions. When new garbage is pilled over the old one, the organic matter on the garbage gets trapped in parts where there is no oxygen and that provides excellent conditions for methane production.

Biomass is a material that comes from living or dead organic matter. The burn of these material creates huge amounts of methane. This includes the open controlled fires made on the agricultural or other type of fields. All this activities are the 11% of the total.

Rice agriculture is responsible for the 9% of the emissions. Man-made wetlands called paddy fields have a high moisture content, oxygen depletion and ample organic material. All these things together create a perfect environment for methane production with the microbes that decompose the organic matter on the wetland.

Agriculture is an important source of nitrous oxide, is the largest source of it with the 67% of it. The principal way humans emit this gas is with the fertilizers, because people add nitrogen to the soil. This gas is also emitted in livestock manure and urine.

Transportation emits nitrous oxide when the fuels are burned, and industries generate this gas with the emissions of the factories of different materials that humans use.

“What are the main sources of methane emissions?” (2015) What´s your impact. Retrieved from:


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