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What is Global Warming Potential? - GreenSutra®

What is Global Warming Potential?

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QuestionsCategory: Global WarmingWhat is Global Warming Potential?
Omkar Khanna asked 4 years ago
What is Global Warming Potential?
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What is Global Warming Potential?
Global warming potential helps understand and evaluate the impact of greenhouse gases towards global warming and climate change.
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Team GreenSutra® Staff answered 4 years ago

All the greenhouse gases differ from each other in three key aspects:

  • Radiative Efficiency (Ability to absorb energy)
  • At what wavelength does the gas absorb radiation
  • Lifetime (Duration of stay in atmosphere)

In order to allow for comparisons among these greenhouse gases a standard was developed. This standard is also referred to as the Global Warming Potential.

IPCC 1996 defines the global warming potential as the cumulative radiative forcing – both direct and indirect effects -integrated over a period of time from the emission of a unit mass of gas relative to some reference gas.

Carbon dioxide (CO2was chosen by IPCC as this reference greenhouse gas since it is a naturally occurring gas and plays an important role in the carbon cycle. The GWP of Carbon Dioxide is considered to be 1.

Global Warming Potential specifically refers to a measure of how much energy the emission of 1 ton of gas will absorb over a given period of time, relative to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon dioxide (CO2).