I have been busy reading the EPA’s Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990 – 2012 which was released this past February and I am finding it to be a really great document on the subject. Granted, they do not even consider anything other than greenhouse gases are causing global warming, but there is still a huge amount of information for anyone, including climate change deniers. It is not a cozy little read, so you don’t want to snuggle up in bed with this document and a glass of wine. But, if you need to find some details on climate change and greenhouse gases, this would be a good place to start.
Chapter 1 in the introduction and includes details on how the report was collected and organized. It also has details on which gases are considered to be greenhouse gases and how they act in the atmosphere, even their lifetimes and CO2 equivalents. For instance, the gas CF4 is 6,500 times as effective as a greenhouse gas as CO2 and will stay in the atmosphere for over 50,000 years. Another gas, SF6, will last only 3,200 years, but is 23,900 times as effective as CO2. Here’s another one, we emit almost as much CO2 from cars as we do from power plants, 1512 Tg CO2 Eq for power plants versus 1470 for cars.
As a scientist, I just love lots of nice numbers like this. Data is what makes the scientific world go round.