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More Potent than Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide Levels in California May be Nearly Three Times Higher Than Previously Thought

 
Rain-Man
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12/04/2012 03:54 PM
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More Potent than Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide Levels in California May be Nearly Three Times Higher Than Previously Thought
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
December 04, 2012

Using a new method for estimating greenhouse gases that combines atmospheric measurements with model predictions, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers have found that the level of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, in California may be 2.5 to 3 times greater than the current inventory.

At that level, total N2O emissions—which are believed to come primarily from nitrogen fertilizers used in agricultural production—would account for about 8 percent of California’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The findings were recently published in a paper titled “Seasonal variations in N2O emissions from central California” in Geophysical Research Letters. Earlier this year, using the same methodology, the researchers found that levels of methane, another potent greenhouse gas, in California may be up to 1.8 times greater than previous estimates.

“If our results are accurate, then it suggests that N2O makes up not 3 percent of California’s total effective greenhouse gases but closer to 10 percent,” said Marc Fischer, lead researcher on both studies. “And taken together with our previous estimates of methane emissions, that suggests those two gases may make up 20 to 25 percent of California’s total emissions. That’s starting to become roughly comparable to emissions from fossil fuel CO2.”
map of nitrous oxide emissions in California

This map shows the amount of nitrous oxide emissions in California (in nanomoles per square meter per second). The "x" represents the location of the measurement tower in Walnut Grove, CA.

Accurate estimates of the California’s greenhouse gas emissions are important as the state works to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as mandated by a law known as AB 32. The vast majority of the reduction efforts have been focused on CO2.

Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is an especially potent greenhouse gas because it traps far more infrared radiation than both carbon dioxide and methane. “It’s present in the atmosphere at tiny concentrations—one-thousandth that of CO2—but it is very potent,” Fischer said. “It has a global warming potential of approximately 300, meaning it is 300 times more active than CO2 per unit mass. And it’s 10 to 15 times more potent than methane.”

[link to newscenter.lbl.gov]

Last Edited by Rain-Man on 12/04/2012 03:55 PM
Anonymous Coward
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12/04/2012 04:00 PM
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Re: More Potent than Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide Levels in California May be Nearly Three Times Higher Than Previously Thought
Is this why they are Chem Trailing the Fuck out of California...? Food for thought.....!
Anonymous Coward
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12/04/2012 04:05 PM
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Re: More Potent than Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide Levels in California May be Nearly Three Times Higher Than Previously Thought
Is this why they are Chem Trailing the Fuck out of California...? Food for thought.....!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 24122548


...and we eat the shit they spray.EVERYDAY!
Alufiend
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12/04/2012 04:12 PM
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Re: More Potent than Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide Levels in California May be Nearly Three Times Higher Than Previously Thought
this is so gov can charge more carbon taxes

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