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Greenhouse Gases

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A greenhouse gas (GHG) is any gas in the atmosphere that traps heat from the sun and warms the Earth. While these gases occur naturally, human use of fossil fuels and other activities have resulted in an accumulation of greenhouse gases, which is the fundamental cause of global warming. Common greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the Earth's atmosphere include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

GHGs have different levels of global warming potential. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the standard for measuring GHG emissions. Other gasses are expressed as CO2 equivalents (CO2e). The global warming potential of methane is 21 times that of carbon dioxide. The global warming potential of nitrous oxide is 310 times that of carbon dioxide.

Image of how greenhouse gases work

Greenhouse Gas Sources

Chart of greenhouse gas sources

The graphic above shows the GHG emissions for various sectors of the economy resulting from activity within the Clearwater community. Transportation and electricity use are the biggest contributors. The graphic below shows the sources of GHGs and relative amount of emissions resulting from activity within the United States.

Chart of annual greenhouse gas emissions

United States Department of Energy logo The Clearwater Greenprint is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Think Green logo

What's New

Draft of Clearwater Greenprint Available to Download

Steps to Sustainable Living


Greenprint Upcoming Events

None scheduled at this time.


City Council Information

Presentation and Background Materials from 11/29/10 City Council Worksession

Resolution 11-5 and Supporting Items from 12/14/12 Public Hearing