Everyone has heard of global warming, but beyond changes to the weather – like freezing winters and sweltering summers – many people don’t really know what it means.
Global warming is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. NASA says that global warming can be attributed to the greenhouse effect, which occurs when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth. Some types of gases block heat from escaping the atmosphere and are long-lived, remaining semi-permanently in the atmosphere without responding physically or chemically to changes in temperature.
Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons are the most prevalent greenhouse gases and while some, like carbon dioxide, occur naturally, others such as chlorofluorocarbons are synthetic and their manufacture is heavily regulated.
One of the methods for measuring the impact a gas will have on the atmosphere is Global Warming Potential (GWP). GWP is used to represent the equivalent of C02 being released into the atmosphere, where 1kg of C02 = a GWP of 1. For companies manufacturing gases, and for those purchasing and using them, it is critical to manage environmental impact by keeping the GWP as low as possible…