Rob Felt/Georgia Tech

Tackling greenhouse gases

Faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering are developing technologies that store, capture, convert, and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

The images are ubiquitous: A coastal town decimated by another powerful hurricane, satellite images showing shrinking polar ice caps, a school of dead fish floating on the surface of warming waters, swaths of land burnt by an out-of-control wildfire. These dire portrayals share a common thread — they offer tangible evidence that climate change is affecting every corner of the globe.

According to NASA, Earth’s surface temperature has risen 0.9 degrees Celsius since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Researchers agree that the rise in temperatures has one primary culprit: increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane all trap heat in our atmosphere, making them directly responsible for climate change. The occurrence of these gases in our atmosphere has increased exponentially since the late 1800s due to growth in fossil fuels use across the energy, manufacturing, and transportation industries.

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