The Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Cars and Vehicles

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has seen a rising trend in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. Every gallon of gas used by motor vehicles causes the emission of 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other substances into the environment. While some of this comes from the production process for the fuel, most of it comes directly out of the tailpipes of vehicles. Concerned consumers might explore options for an online loan to finance a hybrid or electric car to replace a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.

Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, fluorinated gases, and other chemicals. Of the various substances in the environment, carbon dioxide is the most prevalent. Human activity is a significant source of greenhouse gases. As people drive, heat or cool their homes, and use electricity, these gases are produced and expelled into the environment. Over time, these gases are building up closer to Earth’s surface, which has a profound impact on the climate and overall air temperature.

  • Greenhouse Gases: Carbon dioxide is one greenhouse gas that leads to trapped heat in Earth’s atmosphere.
  • What Are Greenhouse Gases? Greenhouse gases allow the sun’s light to move into the atmosphere, but the gases trap the heat and lead to increased temperatures.
  • Greenhouse Effect: Keeping the Balance: Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and more. While greenhouse gases serve a purpose, if they become too prevalent, they can also cause harm.
  • Greenhouse Gases (PDF): The three main gases contained in Earth’s atmosphere are nitrogen, oxygen, and argon.
  • Global Warming Is Hot Stuff: Heat trapped around Earth helps regulate temperatures so that plants and animals can survive. Scientists have begun to notice a trend of the temperature around the Earth rising.
  • What Are Greenhouse Gases? Human activity contributes carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide to the atmosphere.
  • The Greenhouse Effect and Greenhouse Gases: A rise in carbon dioxide beyond natural levels may be contributing to global warming.
  • The Greenhouse Effect: Greenhouse effects help keep Earth at the correct temperature for plant and animal survival. However, human activity may be affecting this natural balance.
  • What Are Greenhouse Gases? If no greenhouse gases were in Earth’s atmosphere, the temperature would be too cold to sustain life.
  • Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change: Predictable weather patterns have begun showing signs of changing due to more heat being retained around Earth.

Regulated Emissions

“Emissions” describes the pollutants that are given off into the environment. Sources can include motor vehicles, companies that use fuel, and power plants that produce energy. Government entities are seeking to regulate harmful emissions in an attempt to reduce them and protect the environment. For example, tailpipe emission standards set a specific maximum amount of chemicals that can come out of vehicle tailpipes.

Energy Use in Transportation

Because transportation is a significant part of total energy usage, governments are focusing on ways to reduce the way motor vehicles operate and the way people use them. Gasoline is the main type of transportation fuel. Recent estimates of the use of gasoline-ethanol fuel blends in the United States indicate that Americans use roughly 368 million gallons of gas each day. Using vehicles that run on alternative sources of fuel could reduce this number. If Americans used other modes of transportation, such as biking or walking, they could also reduce gas consumption.

Green Cars and Clean Energy