Forecasting Change: What are the sources for greenhouse gases?

Unsurprisingly, transportation is top concern

Temperature & carbon dioxide
Temperature & carbon dioxide

ORLANDO, Fla. – We have talked a lot about how Earth is warming, and the case for that warming being related to how we are living our lives is becoming more defined and clearer.

A huge part of that is the human emission of greenhouse gases.

Look at the graphic below. It shows where most of our emissions are coming from. Are you shocked to learn that the No. 1 area of concern is transportation? Combustion engines and that burning of fossil fuels is how we get around. Passenger cars and light trucks account for more than half of the emissions in this 29%. The other parts are airplanes, ships, buses, etc. So when you see stories about the progress made in electric cars, know that the future of our atmosphere depends on the success of such stories.

[MORE FORECASTING CHANGE: Billion-dollar disasters increasing in US | Using wind and solar energy to reach net zero | 2020 ties for hottest year on record]

Greenhouse gas sources

The only problem with electric cars is how we create the electricity. In the graphic, you see electricity puts 28% of emissions in the atmosphere. That is because we currently use fossil fuels to create that electricity. In the future, we will we be using more renewable sources, such as solar, wind and hydroelectric to create the electricity instead of sources like coal. In coming months, we will focus more on these ideas in our Forecasting Change series.

This last information graphic shows the relationship between the global temperature and carbon in the atmosphere.

Temperature & carbon dioxide

The CO2 parts per million (PPM) are now higher than they have ever been in the past 800,000 years.

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About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.