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Updated 16 September 2005

Vision and Framework for Strategy and Planning Published August 2005

 

 

 

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CCTP Goal 4: Reduce Emissions of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases

GHGs other than carbon dioxide, including methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and others are more potent as radiant energy absorbers, per unit weight, than CO2. In addition, the atmospheric concentration of troposphere ozone, another greenhouse gas, is increasing due to human activities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that the cumulative effects of such gases since pre-industrial times account for about 40 percent of the anthropogenic radiative forcing20 from GHGs. Reducing emissions of these other, non-CO2 GHGs is an important climate change technology goal and key component of a comprehensive climate change technology strategy. Many categories of technologies are relevant to the attainment of this CCTP goal:

Methane Collection and Utilization.

Improvements in methods and technologies to collect methane and detect leaks from various sources, such as landfills, coal mines, natural gas pipelines, and oil and gas exploration operations, can prevent this GHG from escaping to the atmosphere. These methods are often cost-effective, because the collected methane is a fuel that can be used directly or sold in natural gas markets.

Reducing N2O and Methane Emissions from Agriculture.

Improved agricultural management practices and technologies, including application of fertilizers for crop production, livestock waste, and rice production, are key components of the strategy to reduce other GHGs.

Reducing Use of High-Global-Warming-Potential (GWP) Gases.

Hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons have substituted for ozonedepleting chlorofluorocarbons in a number of industries, including refrigeration, air conditioning, foam blowing, solvent cleaning, fire suppression, and aerosol propellants. These and other high-GWP synthetic gases are generally used in applications where they are critical to complex manufacturing processes or provide safety and system reliability, such as in semiconductor manufacturing, electric power transmission and distribution, and magnesium production and casting. Because they are potent GHGs, methods to reduce leakage and use of these chemicals are being explored, as well as the development of lower-GWP alternatives to achieve the same purposes.

Black Carbon Aerosols.

Programs aimed at reducing particulate matter have led to significant advances in clean and efficient fuel combustion and emissions control technologies in both transportation and power generation sectors. These advances have reduced and will continue to reduce U.S. black carbon aerosol emissions. Reduced emissions of black carbon, soot, and other chemical aerosols can have multiple benefits, including improved public health and air quality, as well as reduced radiative forcing in the Earth’s atmosphere.

 

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