A Comparison of the Contribution of Various Gases to the Greenhouse Effect

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Science  08 Jun 1990:
Vol. 248, Issue 4960, pp. 1217-1219
DOI: 10.1126/science.248.4960.1217


The current concern about an anthropogenic impact on global climate has made it of interest to compare the potential effect of various human activities. A case in point is the comparison between the emission of greenhouse gases from the use of natural gas and that from other fossil fuels. This comparison requires an evaluation of the effect of methane emissions relative to that of carbon dioxide emissions. A rough analysis based on the use of currently accepted values shows that natural gas is preferable to other fossil fuels in consideration of the greenhouse effect as long as its leakage can be limited to 3 to 6 percent.

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