Each year the Environmental Protection Agency produces an Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. The draft version of the report for 1990-2017 was published in February 2019. Here's a figure showing gross emissions of greenhouse gases in the US. Emissions that are not carbon dioxide have been converted to its "equivalent." Several themes jump out from the figure. One is that the overwhelming share of emissions are plain old carbon dioxide, rather than methane or other gases. Another is that the total emissions have been dropping in the last few years, and are more-or-less back to 1990 levels, which one can interpret either through the lens of "could be worse" or "should be better," as you are so inclined.Given the predominance of carbon dioxide emissions, let's dig into
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Here's a figure showing gross emissions of greenhouse gases in the US. Emissions that are not carbon dioxide have been converted to its "equivalent."
Given the predominance of carbon dioxide emissions, let's dig into those a little deeper. Most of the carbon dioxide emissions come from burning fossil fuels. This table shows the breakdown into a few main sectors.
Moreover, methane emissions landfill, leakages in natural gas systems, and the digestive tracts of livestock make up the equivalent of 449 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2017. Agricultural soil management released nitrogen oxides that are the equivalent of 266 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2017, roughly equivalent to fossil fuel-related carbon emissions from the residential or the commercial sector. Hydrofluorocarbons that are being used to to replace ozone-depleting substances account for another 152 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions.