HKDSE Geography/M7/Human Factors in Global Warming

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Numerous human factors lead to global warming.

Carbon dioxide[edit]

The main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide is generated in the following situations:

  • Burning of fossil fuels: The burning of coal, oil and natural gas
  • Burning of petroleum-based fuels by transport: The combustion of fuel for transport, such as aeroplanes and land vehicles
  • Forest fires: Forests are important carbon sinks and carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere by forest fires.
  • Incinerators: Carbon dioxide is produced when burning solid waste in incinerators.

Methane[edit]

  • Livestock rearing: Rearing of livestock, particularly cattle ranching, produces methane.
  • Wet rice cultivation
  • Decomposition of solid waste in landfills
  • Fossil fuel and biofuel combustion also causes methane release

Nitrous oxide[edit]

  • Use of nitrate fertilisers in arable farming: When nitrate fertilisers are decomposed in soil, nitrous oxide is released.
  • Fossil fuel combustion
  • Combustion of solid waste in incinerators
  • Nylon production

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)[edit]

  • Air conditioning and refrigeration
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Cleaning solvents
  • Styrofoam