Carbon Dioxide Equivalent
Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) is the universal unit of measurement used to indicate the global warming potential of each of the greenhouse gases. It is used to evaluate the impacts of releasing (or avoiding the release of) different greenhouse gases.
The global warming potentials (GWP) of the three greenhouse gases associated with forestry are as follows: Carbon dioxide persists in the atmosphere for about 200–450 years and its global warming potential is defined as 1, methane (CH4) persists for 9–15 years and has a global warming potential of 22 (meaning that it has 22 times the warming ability of carbon dioxide), and nitrous oxide (N2O) persists for about 120 years and has a global warming potential of 310. The current concentration of greenhouse gases already has a heating power equaling that of a concentration of roughly 472 parts per million, which is high enough for a temperature rise of greater than 2° C.