Global Warming Diagram

From the following global warming diagram set, one can understand the seriousness of the issues confronting mankind today.

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Global warming was at best a curious subject till a few years ago, but it has now reached alarming proportions and is engaging the attention of both scientists and the common people.

  Sun is the natural source of energy for us providing light and heat. This heat makes up the average global temperature.

Global warming in simple terms can be understood as the increase in average global temperature.

It occurs due to both natural causes and man-made or anthropogenic causes.

Greenhouse gases are the reason for the raise in global temperature and the main cause of global warming.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2),

Methane (CH4)

and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) are the natural greenhouse gases and

man-made greenhouse gases include Chloro Fluoro Carbons - CFC's.

This is similar to a glasshouse, which is a structure for non seasonal gardening. This produces an effect by which sun light goes through the glass of the structure to pass to the earth, but blocks the heat and does not allow it to pass from the earth back to the atmosphere, thus keeping the structure warm within the glasshouse.

This is shown in the following global warming diagram.

Figure 1

Source: US Environmental Protection Agency and NASA

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Greenhouse Effect

Due to rapid progress made by mankind over the last 100 years, electricity is the chief source of energy for carrying out all our work - whether it is industrial work or commercial work or residential work.

In the United States most of the electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas.

Figures 2 and 3 below show sources and consumption of electrical power in the US.

Power Generation in the US for the year 2000 shows that coal is the most dominant source and is the primary cause for CO2 emissions as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2

Breakup of the sources of Power in US for the year 2000

Source: Energy Information Administration, Dept. of Energy,
US Government.

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Figure 3 below shows the breakup of the different sectors of consumers utilizing electrical power during the 50 years (1950 - 2000) in the US.

Figure 3

Sectoral Breakup of Power Consumers in the US (1950 - 2000)

Source: Dept. of Energy, US Government

Power generation and consumption both result in greenhouse gas emissions as we can see in the figure below.

Figure 4

Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1980 - 2000


In 1999, CO2 emissions provided the major share of the 5.6 billion tons of gas emissions shown in the above global warming diagram.

The breakup of these emissions for the different sectors was as follows: (approximately)

1Industrial Sector33%
2Transportation sector33%
3Residential sector20%
4Commercial Sector14%

Source: Energy Information Administration, Dept. of Energy, US Government.

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