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I did not say that N2O is not a greenhouse gas. That's presuming that I use your definition, which is a form of begging the question.

But anyway, there is reason for this misunderstanding, I see, because there sometimes is a broader and sometimes a narrower use of the symbol.

Nitrogen oxide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NOx is a generic term for mono-nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2). These oxides are produced during combustion, especially combustion at high temperatures.

Nitrogen Oxides: Health and Environmental Impacts of NOx | Six Common Pollutants | Air & Radiation | US EPA
NOx causes a wide variety of health and environmental impacts because of various compounds and derivatives in the family of nitrogen oxides, including nitrogen dioxide, nitric acid, nitrous oxide, nitrates, and nitric oxide.

At any rate, nitrous oxide (N2O) is not produced in vast quantities as an emission of internal combustion engines, that is NO and NO2, which are not greenhouse gases. Older catalysts meant to reduce those do produce some N2O. The main sources are industrial processes and agriculture.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 03:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Environmental Protection Agency, "One member of the NOx, nitrous oxide or N2O, is a greenhouse gas." This is the basis of my definition of NOx, which comes from my years as a Safety and Health Officer and sometime Environmental Affairs Officer for two different companies in WA and OR. Maybe it's an old-school definition, and the world has moved on, but that's all that I have.

As to derivation of N2O, the Wikipedia also says "The livestock sector (primarily cows, chickens, and pigs) produces 65% of human-related nitrous oxide. [1] Industrial sources make up only about 20% of all anthropogenic sources, and include the production of nylon and nitric acid, and the burning of fossil fuel in internal combustion engines." So - I defer to your point as to its sources, but please note that they include internal combustion engines.

Beyond that, I suggest that NO2 and atmospheric Nitric Acid are also GHG, which have not been adequately studied - not to mention SO2 and atmospheric Sulfuric Acid. And this might be worthwhile, given the increase in coal-fired electrical generation facilities. Again, maybe my science is too old, but I remember that the greenhouse effect was originally conceptualized on the basis of study of Venus' atmosphere.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 12:58:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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