Life is based on complex chemical compounds and few of all available elements participate in life supporting action on earth. Out of these elements, most characteristic element is carbon. It is the only element which is so favored by life on earth. It is the only building block of life and it has ability to form complex stable molecules with itself and other molecules like hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. 

Carbon is produced both from natural and from anthropogenic source. Natural sources comprise of respiration, decomposition and from ocean release. On the other hand, anthropogenic sources include cement production, deforestation, burning of fossil fuels (Coal, Oil and Natural gas).

As the human activities increases, atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide rise widely since the industrial revolution and now it reached to hazardous level which was not seen in last 3 Million years.

The human contribution to the carbon emission is small as compared to the natural sources but it has upset the natural balance of earth which was there for many thousand years before the human effect.  

The reason behind the balance is that natural sinks remove the same amount of carbon dioxide which is produced by natural sources. But human produced emission upset the balance by adding extra carbon dioxide to atmosphere without removal or we can say dump.

If we look at the detailed picture, carbon sources from anthropogenic sources includes the burning of fossil fuel, which contribute about 87 % of the carbon emissions and reminder come from the clearing of forests and other land use which contribute about 9%. Some industrial units majorly cement industry produced the 4 % share in Carbon dioxide emission.

Source: IPCC (2014) EPA WEBSITE Exit based on global emissions from 2010. Details about the sources included in these estimates can be found in the Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change EPA WEBSITE.

The above figure shows that major contribution of carbon dioxide in greenhouse gases is about 65% and is mainly produced by burning of fossil fuel and other industrial processes. Major industrial process is as discussed earlier is the cement industry. 

From the above figure it is concluded that Global emissions are mainly produced in the process of electricity and production of heat, it is further followed by transport, manufacturing (mainly cement and other industries) and agriculture.

But this situation is not uniform around the globe. I we see the situation of US major contributor to GHGs mainly Carbon dioxide is transport sector however in Brazil major emissions comes from agriculture and land use change.

To stop climate change, we have to cut the volume of greenhouse gases mainly the carbon dioxide. Last 150 years’ fossil fuel were used at high rate along with the deforestation took place due to population increase. These trees naturally pull out carbon dioxide out of the air and maintain the balance. Now there are two ways to stop ways to stop the problem either stop adding pollution or increase earth ability to pull them out of the air.   

We can put constructive effort to reduce the emissions, these are mentioned as under:

1.      Use Less Energy.

Reducing less energy, mainly less consuming electricity, especially when it comes to non-renewable energy sources. So it is need to move towards renewable energy and use energy in sustainable way. The sustainable way is to use energy efficient products, adjusting HVAC system, adding insulation to homes and adjusting the thermostats, control the leakages and also adjusting the air conditioning systems.  In urban and sub urban area there is a concept of green cool or green roofs, which limit the heat entering the building during hot days and ultimately decrease the urban heat island effect. 

2.      Shrinking Of Food Footprint.

About a fifth of global emissions come from raising farm animals to produce meat. Taking the example of cattle. A cattle digest food, they belch and produce methane gas, which is powerful greenhouse gas and their manure produce carbon dioxide. And forests, which take that carbon dioxide out of the air has also been cut so that cattle graze.  

3.      Travel Without Greenhouse Gas.

As we must travel or commute from one place to another, we need transport which mainly run-on fossil fuel. Burning of fossil fuel ad up 14% of global greenhouse gas emission. This can be reducing by shifting towards alternate sources of fuel or transport. We can use hybrid cars or use electric vehicles. These days’ research is also carried out to run airplanes on solar energy. Use public transport instead of using individual car to reach same destination.  

4.      Reduce Emissions From Industry.

The extraction of natural resources like mining of raw material and dealing with waste all require fuel. Most of the things we bought starting from phones to TVs, clothing and shoes all are created in factories which add up to 20% greenhouse gases worldwide. These emissions from industries can be reduced by using the material which don’t release green-house emissions. taking the example of cement, it produces carbon dioxide as it hardens with time. However, there us another alternative used which is known as bioplastics, there are made from plants. Companies can also use renewable energy sources to power factories and transport products.


About the Author: Meraj Ahsan Qureshi is a young, motivated environmentalist with the passion to create awareness and change the environment.