Environmental Foresight: Estimating Global Warming Potentials with Published Data

  • Almost all environmental problems have been discovered in hindsight, years to decades after a new technology or chemical has been introduced. Examples of environmental issues discovered in hindsight include the introduction of DDT and subsequent population crash of birds of prey [1], widespread use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were found to destroy the ozone layer [2], and use of fluorocarbons (CFs) that were then found to contribute to global warming [3]. This instructional module discusses how to estimate global warming potentials using different levels of intermediate published data. A spreadsheet for rapid evaluation of chemicals is included that offers students a way of predicting global warming potentials with minimal data.
  • Paul Blowers
Learning Resource Type:
  • Community – Wiki
  • Engineering – Bioengineering and Biomedical
  • College Freshman – Graduate
Media Type:
  • Document
  • Global Warming Potentials
  • Climate Change
  • Radiative Forcing
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Degradation
Related ABET Criteria:
Publication Date:
  • June 2009