Human activities that produce greenhouse gases include:
|Human Activity||Greenhouse Gas Effect|
|Fossil Fuel Use||Produces greenhouse gases directly from burning|
|Urban Sprawl||Encourages more vehicle miles traveled and as a result, more tailpipe emissions like carbon dioxide|
|Agricultural Practices||Practices such as grazing produce large quantities of methane|
|Population Growth||All producers of greenhouse gases are multiplied as population growth demands more fossil fuel consumption, more urban sprawl, and more vehicle miles traveled|
The Industrial Revolution, largely fueled by coal, resulted in a large spike in greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. While other greenhouse gases are potent, CO2 is the most important pollutant to monitor because so much of it is produced from human activities.
The below graph shows global atmospheric CO2 concentrations since 1880. As we can see, CO2 has risen approximately 80 parts per million, and global temperatures have gone up around 1.5 degrees.
In addition, deforestation has reduced the amount of CO2 being absorbed in the process of photosynthesis.
The below graph depicts various sources of greenhouse gas emissions and their percentage of total output. Energy is biggest at 25.9%, followed by industry at 19.4%, forestry at 17.4%, agriculture at 13.5%, transportation at 13.1%, buildings at 7.9%, and water and wastewater at 2.8%.
Source: Adapted from Sophia instructor Jensen Morgan, ATMOSPHERIC CO2 PD HTTP://BIT.LY/1MJIB0Q