top of page

What is GHG emission? Global warming for dummies.

Updated: Feb 11

You often hear GHG emissions on news and political discussions about climate change but

do we know what it means, what it does and how its made?

GHG emission stands for Global Greenhouse Gas emission, you may remember this term during your grade school or high school days, so is it bad?

The answer is yes and no.

There are two types of GHG emissions: the natural and the human made (anthropogenic). The natural GHG emissions consist of water vapor and carbon dioxide, both are needed for human beings to live comfortably. It basically keeps the earth cool enough and warm enough.

Human made GHG emissions are gases like carbon, nitrogen and other that are produced when we do something. To give you a better example, to cook food you need to burn wood and wood is made of carbon (absorbed by trees). So when you burn it you can see a black smoke, it is because when burning you are breaking the wood into smaller particles that go to the atmosphere.

The problem with these particles in the atmosphere is they stay there for years. For example, carbon gas which is related to make electricity stays in the atmosphere for at least 30 years.

Nitrous Oxide (N2O) is emitted for fertilizers and combustion of industrial processes can stay in the atmosphere for 114 years and has warming potential 310 times more than carbon. And lastly, if you like using foil so much, just remember that every time you use it, the gas made to produce id stay in the air for 10,000 years and its has warming potential of 11,900 times more than carbon.

Since I mentioned it, what is warming potential? If put the same heat to a wood and to a metal pan, and remove it after 2 mins (don't try this at home but you probably experienced it already) you probably can still touch the wood but your skin will burn when you touch the metal pan. This mean that metal absorbs more heat that wood, therefore in the atmosphere carbon gas absorbs heat from the sun but N2O will be able to absorb the heat 310 times than carbon.


During winter we like going in front of a fireplace. That fireplace represents the GHG gas we discussed earlier. Now imagine that there are 3 fireplaces around you. You probably want to remove all your warm sweaters. How imagine the fireplaces increase to 10 and these fireplaces will have to stay around you for 30 years.

Now imagine that during summer. You probably want to stop imagining by now but for sure you sometimes wish that the climate is the same 10 years ago. The next generations living after us will have 100 fireplaces around them, and those are made during our time.


Do you feel thankful sometimes that you did not live 50 years ago when there is no technology? No electricity? No water system? No trucks? No machines? Our past generations made it for us. They were not selfish, they wanted future generations to experience ease of life so that we do not experience what they went through. What can we do for the future generations?

We can start by accepting the fact and reality that we need to do something to fight climate change. We know about it, we know its coming but why do we keep on ignoring it? We need to do something for the next generations. Its our responsibility, its our contribution to humanity.


bottom of page