There’s a report that some biofuels produce more greenhouse gases than regular gasoline. This may or may not be true, but it’s a reminder that CO2 is a quite minor greenhouse gas.
Measurements of emissions from the burning of biofuels derived from rapeseed and maize have been found to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than they save.
Other biofuels, especially those likely to see greater use over the next decade, performed better than fossil fuels but the study raises serious questions about some of the most commonly produced varieties.
Rapeseed and maize biodiesels were calculated to produce up to 70 per cent and 50 per cent more greenhouse gases respectively than fossil fuels. The concerns were raised over the levels of emissions of nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
Even the Greens on Wikipedia admit biggest greenhouse gas is water vapor:
Water vapor is a larger contributor to the greenhouse effect that CO2. “Just a rise of 1% of water vapour could raise the global average temperature of Earth’s surface more then 4 degrees Celsius.”
There are plenty more (my emphasis):
Examples of the atmospheric lifetime and GWP for several greenhouse gases include:
- CO2 has a variable atmospheric lifetime, and cannot be specified precisely Recent work indicates that recovery from a large input of atmospheric CO2 from burning fossil fuels will result in an effective lifetime of tens of thousands of years. Carbon dioxide is defined to have a GWP of 1 over all time periods.
- Methane has an atmospheric lifetime of 12 ± 3 years and a GWP of 62 over 20 years, 23 over 100 years and 7 over 500 years. The decrease in GWP associated with longer times is associated with the fact that the methane is degraded to water and CO2 by chemical reactions in the atmosphere.
- Nitrous oxide has an atmospheric lifetime of 120 years and a GWP of 296 over 100 years.
- CFC-12 has an atmospheric lifetime of 100 years and a GWP of 10600 (over 100 years).
- HCFC-22 has an atmospheric lifetime of 12.1 years and a GWP of 1700 (over 100 years).
- Tetrafluoromethane has an atmospheric lifetime of 50,000 years and a GWP of 5700 (over 100 years).
- Sulfur hexafluoride has an atmospheric lifetime of 3,200 years and a GWP of 22000 (over 100 years).
If Sulfur hexafluoride is indeed 22,000 times more greenhousy than CO2, here’s the basis of another scare theory:
SF6 plasma is also used in the semiconductor industry as an etchant.
Let’s assume that the world has recently become warmer – what’s the biggest change since WW2?
So we must blame Gordon Moore, and start rationing PCs.
As well, of course, as avoiding biofuels.