Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is another GHGs whose atmospheric levels have continued to rise because of human activities. It is also referred to as dinitrogen monoxide and is a colorless, odorless, covalently bonded gas that can be produced synthetically and biologically. It is a by-product of feedlots, auto emissions, and modern agricultural practices, whose atmospheric levels have increased by 17 percent since the mid-16th century. It is also emitted from processes ranging from wastewa-ter treatment, gas combustion, industrial processes, fertilization, and microorganism's reactions in soil and in the ocean. It has a stability period of 150 years, and is about 200 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2.

Today, human-fuelled activities contribute 33 percent of nitrous oxide emissions into the atmosphere. Although the quantity of N2O present in the atmosphere in comparison to CO2 is very small, its effect as a greenhouse gas is much more potent; one molecule of N2O has a heat absorbing ability equivalent to 200 molecules of CO2. It is reported that while NOx is partially responsible for increased ozone (O3) production as part of photochemical smog production in urban areas near the Earth's surface, it also plays a role in its destruction in the stratosphere, where the O3 would have been helpful in absorbing excessive ultraviolet radiation. N2O is converted to NO in the atmosphere, which on reaching the stratosphere reacts with O3 to result in its depletion. It is however noted that the gas absorbs thermal radiation at the same wavelength as methane. The concentration of oxide in the atmosphere is presently increasing above the pre-industrial level at a rate of approximately 0.25 percent per year, due largely to anthropogenic biomass burning and bacterial oxidation of fertilizer nitrogen; it absorbs light in a broad continuum from and including 260 nm to 182 nm.

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment