Understanding the Near- and Long-Term Impacts of Emissions

This calculator converts abstract greenhouse gas emissions numbers into equivalent activities from our daily lives to make the data more meaningful.

Human activities emit several types of greenhouse gases, and each has distinct impact depending on how much heat it can trap, how long it lasts in the atmosphere, and how much we emit. For example, methane can trap a hundred times more heat than carbon dioxide pound for pound, but lasts in the atmosphere for about a decade, as opposed to centuries. We need to reduce both to slow down warming and stabilize our climate.

This tool can help clarify the climate impacts over time from emitting multiple greenhouse gases with different warming potencies and lifetimes. Click here to learn more about the methodology.

Explore our methodology »

Policy Implications

We need bold, swift action on greenhouse gas emissions to put the world on a better path to a safer climate. Focusing on methane—and reducing those emissions from the oil and gas industry specifically—is the fastest way to slow climate change. Learn more about EDF’s groundbreaking efforts to track and cut methane emissions.