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Nitrous Oxide

Volume 205: debated on Friday 13 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give an estimate of annual United Kingdom emissions of nitrous oxide broken down by source; and of the relative global warming effect of nitrous oxide in comparison with other United Kingdom emissions of gases with global warming potential.

Provisional estimates made by Warren Spring Laboratory for my Department are as follows:

United Kingdom emissions of nitrous oxide—provisional estimates for 1990 (thousands of tonnes per year)
SourceEmissionPer cent.
Production of adipic acid for nylon manufacture9057
Emissions from soil6541
Road transport32
Other fuel combustion21
These estimates are very uncertain, but they suggest a direct global warming effect equivalent to about 7 per cent. of that from current United Kingdom emissions of carbon dioxide.