Greenhouse Gas


Buildings and development are supposed to reflect solar radiation or they will be radiated. If buildings are radiated, they will generate heat they aren’t designed, insulated or insured for and will use fossil fuels as well as produce massive emissions treating radiation symptoms indoors. The superheated buildings will heat the atmosphere contributing to climate change.

The problem is we couldn’t see it so we completed several thousand hours of the most advanced infrared imaging in the world to see what was really happening. The movie directly below is a time-lapsed infrared video monitoring solar radiation right after sunrise.

The information lower on the page is government policy that is blind to temperature, the link below will take you to several time-lapsed infrared videos showing solar interaction with building and development.


The important link above shows a cycle where solar radiation including the same UV that burns our skin is causing buildings to generate heat they aren’t designed for and we are using halocarbons, wasted electrical generation, more GHG emissions treating a heat symptom. No one is dealing with the extreme heat generated atmospherically, even in the winter.


What is climate change: the science behind the story
Climate change is a change in the “average weather” that a given region experiences. Average weather includes all the features we associate with the weather such as temperature, wind patterns and precipitation. When we speak of climate change on a global scale, we are referring to changes in the climate of the Earth as a whole. The rate and magnitude of global climate changes over the long term have many implications for natural ecosystems.

A natural system known as the “greenhouse effect” regulates the temperature on earth. Human activities have the potential to disrupt the balance of this system. As human societies adopt increasingly sophisticated and mechanized lifestyles, the amounts of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere have been increased. By increasing the amount of these gases, humankind has enhanced the warming capability of the natural greenhouse effect. It is the human-induced enhanced greenhouse effect that causes environmental concern. It has the potential to warm the planet at a rate that has never been experienced in human history.

An international scientific consensus has emerged that our world is getting warmer. Abundant data demonstrate that global climate was warmed during the past 150 years. The increase in temperature was not constant, but rather consisted of warming and cooling cycles at intervals of several decades. Nonetheless, the long term trend is one of net global warming. Corresponding with this warming, alpine glaciers have been retreating, sea levels have risen, and climatic zones are shifting.

  • The 1980s and 1990s are the warmest decades on record.
  • The 10 warmest years in global meteorological history have all occurred in the past 15 years.
  • The 20th century has been the warmest globally in the last 600 years.

Most experts agree that average global temperatures could rise by 1 to 3.5 degrees Celsius over the next century. In Canada, this could mean an increase in annual mean temperatures in some regions of between 5 and 10 degrees.

Climate change is more than a warming trend. Increasing temperatures will lead to changes in many aspects of weather, such as wind patterns, the amount and type of precipitation, and the types and frequency of severe weather events that may be expected to occur. Such climate change could have far-reaching and/or unpredictable environmental, social and economic consequences.

A lot of people think that the atmosphere is just air. But it’s more complex than that. It’s actually a mixture of gases that surrounds the Earth, performing many functions and helping to support life on our planet.

The Earth is a huge greenhouse?
As you know, greenhouses use glass to keep the heat in. And just as the glass in a greenhouse holds the sun’s warmth inside, so the atmosphere traps the sun’s heat near the Earth’s surface. This keeps the Earth warm using what are called “greenhouse gases”. Without these gases, the sun’s heat would escape and the average temperature of the Earth would drop from 15 degrees Celsius to – 18 degrees Celsius!

Greenhouse gases and climate change
For thousands of years, the Earth’s atmosphere has changed very little. The temperature and the careful balance of greenhouse gases have stayed just right for humans, animals and plants to survive. But today we are having problems keeping this balance. Because we burn fossil fuels to heat our homes, run our cars, produce electricity, and manufacture all sorts of products, we are adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. These activities are changing the atmosphere at a greater rate than humans have ever experienced.

What could happen if the climate changes?
By increasing the amount of “heat-trapping” gases, we are adding to the warming effect of the natural atmospheric greenhouse. This could warm the planet and have a huge effect on all forms of life. The global sea level could rise due to several factors including melting ice and glaciers. Rising sea levels could damage coastal regions through flooding and erosion. The climate of various regions could change too quickly for many plant and animal species to adjust. Harsh weather conditions, such as heat waves and droughts, could also happen more often and more severely.

In what ways do Canadians contribute to climate change?
We live in a large country with relatively few peoples and lots of miles between us; so we can rely on our cars and trucks to move us around and to move our products from place to place. We also experience very cold winters, so we burn a lot of fossil fuels such as coal, oil or gas to keep our homes, offices and schools warm. We’re lucky that Canada has abundant energy of all kinds, but we use much more energy than we really need.

What are the Greenhouse Gases?
Did you know that water vapour is the most common greenhouse gas? But there are others that are very important too. Some occur naturally and some come from human activity. Check out the list below.

Carbon Dioxide or CO2 is the most significant greenhouse gas released by human activities, mostly through the burning of fossil fuels. It is the main contributor to climate change. Methane is produced when vegetation is burned, digested or rotted with no oxygen present. Garbage dumps, rice paddies, and grazing cows and other livestock release lots of methane. You can find nitrous oxide naturally in the environment but human activities are increasing the amounts. Nitrous oxide is released when chemical fertilizers and manure are used in agriculture. Halocarbons are a family of chemicals that include CFCs (which also damage the ozone layer), and other human-made chemicals that contain chlorine and fluorine.

Is the Earth Getting warmer?
Yes! Scientists may not agree exactly how much global warming will occur, or exactly how much the climate will change, but they do agree that some global warming has already occurred and there will likely be much more. The 12 warmest years in the past 140 years have all been since 1980, with 8 of them since 1990.

So what’s wrong with warmer temperatures?
For many Canadians, warmer temperatures might not seem like such a bad thing. But scientists warn us of the possible consequences for Canada:

  • more severe weather events like droughts, winter storms and tornadoes
  • flooding and erosion in coastal regions
  • our forests and farms would be at greater risk from pests, diseases and fires
  • damage to our water sources

Climate change could also affect the health and well-being of Canadians. Many larger cities could experience a significant rise in the number of very hot days. Air pollution problems would increase, placing children, the elderly and people suffering from respiratory problems at greatest risk of health effects. Increases in molds and pollens due to warmer temperatures could also cause respiratory problems such as asthma for some people.

Possible Consequences for Canada
What is being done around the world?
Climate change affects the entire globe. Developed and developing countries are working together to find solutions to climate change. In June 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) was signed by 154 countries that agreed to stabilize the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at levels that won’t cause harm. In December 1997, in Kyoto, Japan, Canada and 160 industrialized nations committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, as part of an international agreement on climate change called the Kyoto Protocol.

What is being done in Canada?
Throughout this site, you will find tips on what you can do, stories on what other Canadians are doing, research by Canadian scientists, and many other actions that Canadians are taking to prepare for climate change, and to help slow it down.

What are the greenhouse gases (GHG) and how are they produced?
We know that our atmosphere is a complex mixture of gases that trap the sun’s heat near the earth’s surface, similar to how the glass of a greenhouse traps the sun’s warmth. The main greenhouse gases are water vapour (H20), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), ozone (O3), and halocarbons (CFCs, HFCs, etc.). Without these “greenhouse” gases, the sun’s heat would escape and the average temperature of the earth would be 33 degrees cooler (-18� C) – too cold to support life as we know it.

Human activities have resulted in the release of significant quantities of greenhouse gases, which remain in the atmosphere for long periods of time. This intensifies the natural greenhouse effect.

There are six greenhouse gases covered under the protocol to the international convention on climate change (the Kyoto Protocol) – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is the most important of the greenhouse gases released by human activities. It is the main contributor to climate change because of the quantities released – especially through the burning of fossil fuels. When fossil fuels are burned, the carbon content is oxidized and released as carbon dioxide; every tonne of carbon burned produces 3.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The global consumption of fossil fuels is estimated to release 22 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year – and the amounts are still climbing.

Methane is produced naturally when vegetation is burned, digested or rotted without the presence of oxygen. Large amounts of methane are released by garbage dumps, rice paddies and grazing cattle. Methane is significant because it has 21 times the heat-trapping effect of carbon dioxide.

Nitrous oxide occurs naturally in the environment but human activities are increasing the quantities. Nitrous oxide is released when chemical fertilizer is used in agriculture.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased by 30 per cent, and methane by 145 per cent.

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