You are on page 1of 14

2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory

"The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that many authors trace back to the
traditional works of Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1861, and Arrhenius 1896, and which is still
supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which
a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is
radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system.
According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never
exist." (Gerhard Gerlich)

What is the Greenhouse

Before we dig deep into the causes of greenhouse effect, it is important for us to
know what is greenhouse effect. You must have heard of greenhouse effect
during any debate on global warming. The light that we get from the sun helps
to keep this planet warm. Of the 100% light that sun sends to earth, almost 30%
sunlight is reflected back into the space by clouds, ice, snow, sand and other
reflective surfaces, according toNASA. Only about 70% of the sunlight is
absorbed by the oceans, the land and the atmosphere. The sunlight that falls on
the Earths surface is used for different purposes. It can be used to produce solar
energy, drying clothes, or by plants in the process of photosynthesis.

The Earths surface warms up during the day and cools down at night, releasing
the heat in the form of infrared radiation IR out of the atmosphere into space.
But before all these infrared radiation can escape out of the atmosphere into the
space, they are absorbed by greenhouse gases (GHGs) present in the
atmosphere. The absorption of these radiations by greenhouse gases makes it
possible to keep this planet warm for humans. Without Greenhouse effect, the
temperature of this planet would be lesser by 30 degree Celsius and this would

be too cold for us to survive.

What are the harmful effects of green house gases on

9 Answers

Fiinovation, CSR research consultancy working towards sustainable solutions

Written 20 Jan
Lets us first know that Greenhouse gasses include water vapor, methane, ozone,
nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. There may not be much of some of these gasses in
our atmosphere, but they can have a big impact. Each greenhouse gas molecule is
made of three or more atoms that are bonded loosely together.They eventually
release the heat energy and it is often absorbed by another greenhouse gas molecule.

The greenhouse effect is useful because trapping some energy keeps the
temperatures on our planet mild and suitable for living things. Without its
atmosphere and the greenhouse effect, the average temperature at the surface of the
Earth would be zero degrees Fahrenheit. However, too many greenhouse gases can
cause the temperature to increase out of control.

You might hear people talking about the greenhouse effect as if it is a bad thing. It is
not a bad thing, but people are concerned because Earths greenhouse is warming up
very rapidly. This is happening because we are currently adding more greenhouse
gases to our atmosphere, causing an increased greenhouse effect. The increased
Greenhouse Effect is causing changes in our planet that can affect our lives.

We are already witnessing extreme weather events like tsunami, cyclones and
glaciers are also melting rapidly causing rise in sea level. These are some of the
harmful effects of greenhouse gases which are actually warming up the planet. Our
planet earth is retaliating now and we desperately need to control the greenhouse
gases to control the situation before it becomes difficult to handle.
10.7k Views View Upvotes

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On This Page:

Global Emissions by Gas

Global Emissions by Economic Sector

Trends in Global Emissions

Emissions by Country

Global Emissions by Gas

At the global scale, the key greenhouse gases emitted by human activities
Source: IPCC

(2014) Exit based on global emissions from 2010. Details about the sources included in these

estimates can be found in the Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Exit

Carbon dioxide (CO2): Fossil fuel use is the primary source of CO2. The way
in which people use land is also an important source of CO2, especially when it
involves deforestation. CO2 can also be emitted from direct human-induced
impacts on forestry and other land use, such as through deforestation, land
clearing for agriculture, and degradation of soils. Likewise, land can also
remove CO2from the atmosphere through reforestation, improvement of soils,
and other activities.
Methane (CH4): Agricultural activities, waste management, energy use, and
biomass burning all contribute to CH4 emissions.
Nitrous oxide (N2O): Agricultural activities, such as fertilizer use, are the
primary source of N2O emissions. Biomass burning also generates N2O.
Fluorinated gases (F-gases): Industrial processes, refrigeration, and the
use of a variety of consumer products contribute to emissions of F-gases,
which include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur
hexafluoride (SF6).

Black carbon is a solid particle or aerosol, not a gas, but it also contributes to
warming of the atmosphere. Learn more about black carbon and climate
change on our Causes of Climate Change page.
Top of Page

Global Emissions by Economic Sector

Global greenhouse gas emissions can also be broken down by the economic
activities that lead to their production.[1]

Source: IPCC

(2014); Exit based on global emissions from 2010. Details about the sources included in these
estimates can be found in the Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Exit

Electricity and Heat Production (25% of 2010 global greenhouse gas

emissions): The burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for electricity and heat is
the largest single source of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Industry (21% of 2010 global greenhouse gas emissions): Greenhouse gas
emissions from industry primarily involve fossil fuels burned on site at facilities
for energy. This sector also includes emissions from chemical, metallurgical,
and mineral transformation processes not associated with energy
consumption and emissions from waste management activities. (Note:
Emissions from industrial electricity use are excluded and are instead covered
in the Electricity and Heat Production sector.)
Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (24% of 2010 global
greenhouse gas emissions): Greenhouse gas emissions from this sector come
mostly from agriculture(cultivation of crops and livestock) and deforestation.
This estimate does not include the CO2 that ecosystems remove from the
atmosphere by sequestering carbon in biomass, dead organic matter, and
soils, which offset approximately 20% of emissions from this sector.[2]
Transportation (14% of 2010 global greenhouse gas emissions):
Greenhouse gas emissions from this sector primarily involve fossil fuels
burned for road, rail, air, and marine transportation. Almost all (95%) of the
world's transportation energy comes from petroleum-based fuels, largely
gasoline and diesel.
Buildings (6% of 2010 global greenhouse gas emissions): Greenhouse gas
emissions from this sector arise from onsite energy generation and burning
fuels for heat in buildings or cooking in homes. (Note: Emissions from
electricity use in buildings are excluded and are instead covered in the
Electricity and Heat Production sector.)
Other Energy (10% of 2010 global greenhouse gas emissions): This source
of greenhouse gas emissions refers to all emissions from the Energy sector
which are not directly associated with electricity or heat production, such as
fuel extraction, refining, processing, and transportation.

Note on emissions sector categories.

Top of Page
Trends in Global Emissions

Source: Boden, T.A., Marland, G., and Andres R.J. (2015). Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel

CO2 Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S.

Department of Energy, doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2015.

Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels have significantly increased since
1900. Since 1970, CO2 emissions have increased by about 90%, with
emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes contributing
about 78% of the total greenhouse gas emissions increase from 1970 to
2011. Agriculture, deforestation, and other land-use changes have been the
second-largest contributors.[1]
Emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases have also increased significantly since
1900. To learn more about past and projected global emissions of non-
CO2 gases, please see the EPA report, Global Anthropogenic Non-
CO2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 1990-2020.
Top of Page
Emissions by Country

Source: Boden, T.A.,

Marland, G., and Andres, R.J. (2015). National CO2 Emissions from Fossil-Fuel Burning, Cement

Manufacture, and Gas Flaring: 1751-2011, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge

National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2015. In 2011, the

top carbon dioxide (CO2) emitters were China, the United States, the
European Union, India, the Russian Federation, Japan, and Canada. These
data include CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, as well as cement
manufacturing and gas flaring. Together, these sources represent a large
proportion of total global CO2 emissions.
Emissions and sinks related to changes in land use are not included in these
estimates. However, changes in land use can be important: estimates indicate
that net global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry, and other
land use were over 8 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent,[2] or about 24% of
total global greenhouse gas emissions.[3] In areas such as the United
States and Europe, changes in land use associated with human activities have
the net effect of absorbing CO2, partially offsetting the emissions from
deforestation in other regions.
Top of Page

Related Links
EPA resources

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (in the United States)
Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases: Emissions and Trends

Other resources

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center

European Commission Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research Exit
National Inventory Submissions Exit
World Development Indicators Exit
World Resources Institute's Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) Exit

1. IPCC (2014). Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change . Exit Contribution of Working Group
III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Edenhofer, O., R.
Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P.
Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlmer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J.C. Minx (eds.)].
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
2. FAO (2014). Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Emissions by Sources and Removals by
Sinks.(89 pp, 3.5 M, About PDF) Exit Climate, Energy and Tenure Division, FAO.
3. IPCC (2014): Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to
the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.(80 pp, 4.2 M, About
PDF) Exit [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp.

Ten Ways to Reduce Greenhouse Gases

Burning fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline raises the level of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse
effect and global warming. You can help to reduce the demand for fossil fuels, which in turn
reduces global warming, by using energy more wisely.

The following is a list of 10 steps YOU can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Buying products with minimal packaging will help to reduce waste. By recycling half of
your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
2. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning
Adding insulation to your walls and installing weather stripping or caulking around
doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing
the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home. Turn down the heat while
youre sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at
all times. Install a programmable thermostat because setting it just 2 degrees lower in
winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each
3. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact florescent light (CFL)
bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30
over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use
two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat. If every Canadian family
replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of
greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road.
4. Drive Less and Drive Smart
Less driving means fewer emissions. Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are
great forms of exercise. Explore the York Region Transit system and check out options
for carpooling to work or school.
When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently. For example, keeping
your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent.
Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget, it also keeps 20 pounds of
carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
5. Buy Energy-Efficient Products
Home appliances now come in a range of energy-efficient models, and compact
florescent bulbs are designed to provide more natural-looking light while using far less
energy than standard light bulbs.
6. Use Less Hot Water
Set your water heater at 120 degrees to save energy, and wrap it in an insulating
blanket if it is more than 15 years old. Buy low-flow showerheads to save hot water
and about 350 pounds of carbon dioxide yearly. Wash your clothes in warm or cold
water to reduce your use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. That
change alone can save at least 500 pounds of carbon dioxide annually in most
7. Use the "Off" Switch
Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a
room, and using only as much light as you need. And remember to turn off your
television, stereo and computer when you're not using them. Its also a good idea to
turn off the water when youre not using it. While brushing your teeth, shampooing
the dog or washing your car, turn off the water until you actually need it for rinsing.
8. Plant a Tree
If you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and
give off oxygen. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide
during its lifetime.
9. Get a Report Card from Your Utility Company
Many utility companies provide free home energy audits to help consumers identify
areas in their homes that may not be energy efficient. In addition, many utility
companies offer rebate programs to help pay for the cost of energy-efficient upgrades.
10. Encourage Others to Conserve
Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends,
neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to
establish programs and policies that are good for the environment.

These 10 steps will take you a long way toward reducing your energy use and saving you
money. Less energy use means less dependence on the fossil fuels that create greenhouse
gases and contribute to global warming.

Solutions for greenhouse gas emissions reduction

Wrtsil's actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Engine efficiency improvement

High efficiency is important in the control of climate change, and with low emissions our products
meet the various environmental regulations. The efficiency of Wrtsil diesel and gas engines ranges
between 42-52%, depending on the engine type.
Gas and multifuel engines
The Wrtsil dual-fuel (DF) engine is another innovation that has a significant effect on controlling
climate change. Thanks to the technology developed by Wrtsil, our customers can flexibly employ
the same engine using various fuels. This also makes it possible to reduce the impact on the

DF engines are used in power plants and for powering a wide range of different kind of vessels. This
single solution means that the total CO2 emissions from all our current customers' LNG-carrier
applications will be reduced by several millions of tons, when compared to traditional gas
transportation. At the same time, the availability of gas will be improved and the environmental
impacts of gas transportation will be reduced. For other applications an efficient way to reduce CO2
emissions are the use of biofuels. Wrtsil engines adapted for biofuel are today in operation both in
land based power plants and as main engines in marine applications.

Modernisations and conversion services

Wrtsil applies new technologies also to its existing products, which makes it possible to further
reduce their environmental impact. With the help of our service products, we can improve the
efficiency of older engines and reduce their emissions to the same level as those of our newer
products. Slow steaming packages for vessels are available to meet the new power demand
originating from reduced service speeds. We also convert oil-fuelled engines for gas or biofuel use.

Waste heat recovery for ships

In addition to waste heat recovery systems Wrtsil has also introduced a Boosting Energy
Efficiency catalogue, which contains more than 50 different efficiency improvement actions for
saving energy in ships. Please visit for a more complete view of the solutions
introduced in this catalogue.

Environmentally advanced vessel solutions

The new Wrtsil Gas Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) design represents a state-of-the-art vessel
featuring outstanding energy efficiency, a unique hull form, fuel flexibility and outstanding vessel
performance in areas such as fuel economy and cargo capacity. This is a unique configuration of the
gas electric propulsion system based on a combination of the Low Loss Concept for Electric
Propulsion and the wide range of DF engines. Wrtsil's ability to offer total concept solutions that
include the design of the vessel, the propulsion plant, electric & automation and a host of fuel saving
and environmentally sustainable options has given the company a notable competitive edge -
particularly in the area of speciality vessels such as Gas PSVs.

Innovative design solutions for flare gas utilisation Wrtsil delivers innovative flare gas ignition
and flare gas recovery systems for the oil and gas industry enabling flares to be completely put out
saving the environment for emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants related to flaring.

Wrtsil has developed an integrated solution for flare gas utilisation, based on our proven flare gas
ignition and recovery systems and the new GasReformer. This solution transforms flare gas into a
composition that enables its use for fuel gas in gas engines and feed gas to LNG plants.

With current installations, Wrtsil's flare gas recovery solutions reduce the global CO2 emissions of
about 1 million ton per annum which is equivalent to approximately 250,000 cars. As of today, the
total reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases from our flare gas recovery systems is about 5
million tons.

Innovative design solutions to enable reductions of atmospheric emissions of volatile organic

compounds from offshore oil installations
Wrtsil delivers systems that eliminate the release of hydrocarbon vapors to the atmosphere by an
innovative solution replacing the tank vapor atmosphere with a recycled hydrocarbon atmosphere.
While normally tank vapor atmosphere is a mixture of hydrocarbons and flue gases, removing flue
gases enables recycling of the atmosphere and thus the tanks are venting to a closed system. With
current installations, Wrtsil's hydrocarbon blanketing solutions are annually eliminating a loss of
500,000 barrels of oil equivalents being released to the atmosphere.

Combined cycle
Many steam combined cycle diesel engine plants have been delivered during the recent years. Today,
the focus is strongly on introducing high-efficiency gas engine combined cycle solutions, specifically
intended for plant sizes of several hundred megawatts.

Combined heat and power

Combined heat and power plants (CHP) cover various types of recovery and utilisation of heat
energy, in addition to electricity generation. The energy can be utilised as heat, such as hot water or
steam, or as cooling by means of chillers. The most recent step is an exhaust gas driven chiller, which
is believed to offer a cost-competitive CHP solution for various market areas.

Power Annual CO2 reductions

Solution Fuel Reference technology and fuel
(MW) (t)

Single cycle engine power

50 HFO 58 871 Boiler plant/Coal

Single cycle engine power

50 HFO 43 687 Gas turbine /LFO

Single cycle engine power

50 Gas 26 342 Single cycle gas turbine/Gas

CHP engine plant (total eff. 30 + 30 Boiler plant/Coal (EI.) + Boiler plan
Gas 83 552
90%) (Heat) (Heat)

DF engines in LNG carriers 40 Gas 41 000 Steam boiler

LNG cruise ship 68 Gas 43 000 Cruise ship/HFO

Gas engine conversion 50 Gas 57 200 Diesel engine/HFO

As the industry forerunner, Wrtsil has a responsibility to develop and supply advanced solutions
that enable the environmental impact of its customers to be reduced. This is Wrtsils main role in
the combat against climate change.