Global Warming Potential Definition

by Laurent Cousineau
(Montreal)

The global warming potential (GWP) of a gas is measure of its total contribution to global warming.

More specifically, it measures the warming impact from the emission of one unit of a certain gas when compared to one unit of carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is the reference gas and is thus assigned a value of 1.

The values found below originate from the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007:


GasGWP
Carbon Dioxide1
Methane25
Nitrous Oxide 298
Hydrofluorocarbons140 to 11,700
Perfluorocarbons7,390 to 12,200
Sulfur Hexafluoride22 800

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