Non-CO₂ greenhouse gases are more potent than CO₂ (per unit weight) at trapping heat within the atmosphere. Global Warming Potential (GWP) shows the heat trapping potential of each gas relative to carbon dioxide - which has a GWP rating of 1.
Methane (17% of greenhouse gases) has a GWP of 28 - which means that each molecule of methane released into the air is 28X times stronger at trapping heat compared to a single unit of CO₂. Nitrogen Oxides are 298 times more potent than CO₂.
Non-CO₂ greenhouse gases can remain in the atmosphere for much longer periods of time than CO₂ - some over 100 years (EPA)3
A 2022 study by the renowned UK medical journal, The Lancet5 reports “Air pollution causes over 6∙5 million deaths each year globally, and this number is increasing… Lead and other chemicals are responsible for 1∙8 million deaths each year globally…. Over 200 chemicals released by industry are neurotoxic to humans, and many of these chemicals are widespread in the modern environment”.
Some of these are exactly the pollutants we can safely remove. For emissions from mobile sources e.g. vehicles please visit AECC
While many of these emissions are not currently effectively controlled or mitigated, catalytic after-treatment can remove over 95% of harmful chemicals from stationary sources. Added to that is the contribution of greenhouse gases towards climate change which affects human health as well as the environment. Next page...
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