Hydrogen warming potential

Whether hydrogen, which is supposed to decarbonise industrial processes as well as shipping and aviation, will deliver what it promises, however, is now in doubt. This is because hydrogen could be a lot more harmful to the climate than initially believed, especially if it were to escape and enter the atmosphere before being used. “We estimate the hydrogen GWP(100) to be 11 ± 5; a value more than 100% higher than previously published calculations,” the UK government study, commissioned by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, writes…

This would mean that hydrogen is at best six times worse for the climate than CO2 over a period of 100 years. In the worst-case scenario, hydrogen could even prove 16 times more harmful than the widespread greenhouse gas. According to the study, hydrogen would also contribute significantly to climate change, even within a 20-year time frame.

“For a 20-year time horizon, the GWP(20) for H2 is 33 [33 times worse for the climate than CO2], with an uncertainty range of 20 to 44,” the authors said. Hydrogen is not itself a “true” greenhouse gas and shows its effect mainly by stabilising other gases in a new way.



Hydrogen is a very “leaky” gas.

  • Pete

Hydrogen is not listed as a greenhouse gas!


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