Glossary

Air-conditioning

Refers to cooling of a building to achieve an acceptable ambient temperature (and sometimes humidity control as well). This includes air-conditioning of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings.

Annex I Parties

Countries listed in the annex I of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. These countries were members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1992 , 11 countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy and the European Union. These countries are committed to adopt national policies and take measures to mitigate climate change.

Antarctic “Ozone Hole”

Refers to the seasonal depletion of stratospheric ozone in a large area over Antarctica.

Anthropogenic

In the context of greenhouse gases, emissions that are produced as the result of human activities.

Atmosphere

The mixture of gases surrounding the Earth. The Earth’s atmosphere consists of about 79.1% nitrogen (by volume), 20.9% oxygen, 0.036% carbon dioxide and trace amounts of other gases. The atmosphere can be divided into a number of layers according to its mixing or chemical characteristics, generally determined by its thermal properties.
The layer nearest the Earth is the troposphere, which reaches up to an altitude of about 8 km in the polar regions and up to 17 km above the equator. The stratosphere, which reaches to an altitude of about 50 km lies atop the troposphere. The mesosphere which extends up to 80-90 km is atop the stratosphere, and finally, the thermosphere, or ionosphere, gradually diminishes and forms a fuzzy border with outer space. There is relatively little mixing of gases between layers.

Carbon dioxide (CO2)

A colorless, odorless, non-poisonous gas that is a normal part of the ambient air. Carbon dioxide is a product of fossil fuel combustion. Although carbon dioxide does not directly impair human health, it is the most important greenhouse gas that traps terrestrial (i.e., infrared) radiation and contributes to the potential for global warming.

Carbon dioxide equivalent (CDE)

A metric measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases based upon their global warming potential (GWP). The carbon dioxide equivalent for a gas is derived by multiplying the mass of the gas by the associated GWP. CDE = (mass of a gas) * (GWP of the gas) Note generally the unit used is Gg ( 109 g = 1 000 tons ) or Tg ( 1012 g = 1 million tons )

CFCs

(chlorofluorocarbons) Organic compounds made up of atoms of carbon, chlorine, and fluorine. They had widespread uses in many applications, including refrigeration and air conditioning, or the blowing of insulation foams, because their exceptional qualities : for example, their chemical stability make them particulary unreactive and safe. But the side effect of this chemical stability is to allow them, when released, to eventually reach the stratosphere and to be degraded there by strong UV radiation and give rise to ozone-depleting by-products

Conference of the Parties (COP)

The supreme body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It comprises more than 170 nations that have ratified the Convention. Its first session was held in Berlin, Germany, in 1995 and it is expected to continue meeting on a yearly basis. The COP’s role is to promote and review the implementation of the Convention. It will periodically review existing commitments in light of the Convention’s objective, new scientific findings, and the effectiveness of national climate change programs

Distributed systems

Refers to refrigeration systems in which the primary refrigerant is circulated around a building, factory or process to deliver cooling.

Emission Permit

A non-transferable or tradable allocation of entailments by a government to an individual firm to emit a specified amount of a substance.

end-of-life vehicle

The “end-of-life vehicle” EU Directive 2000/53/EC of 18 September 2000 aims at waste prevention, involving vehicle manufacturers and material and equipment manufacturers. Link

Energy-efficiency

The ratio of the useful output of services from an article of industrial equipment to the energy use by such an article; for example, vehicle miles traveled per gallon of fuel (mpg).

FC

Fluorocarbons – a family of chemicals manufactured by replacing hydrogen atoms in Hydrocarbons molecules with fluorine.

Forcing Mechanism

A process that alters the energy balance of the climate system, i.e. changes the relative balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared radiation from Earth. Such mechanisms include changes in solar irradiance, volcanic eruptions, and enhancement of the natural greenhouse effect by emission of carbon dioxide.

Global warming

The progressive gradual rise of the earth’s surface temperature thought to be caused by enhancement of the greenhouse effect and responsible for changes in global climate patterns. An increase in the near surface temperature of the Earth. Global warming has occurred in the distant past as the result of natural influences, but the term is most often used to refer to the warming predicted to occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases.

Global Warming Potential (GWP)

The GWP (Global Warming Potential) index expresses the climatic warming potential of a greenhouse gas relative to that of carbon dioxide, which by convention is set at 1. The GWP is actually calculated in terms of the 100 year warming potential of a kilogram (kg) of a gas relative to that of a kilogram of CO2.

Greenhouse effect

The effect produced as greenhouse gases allow incoming solar radiation to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, but prevent part of the outgoing infrared radiation from the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere from escaping into outer space. This process occurs naturally and has kept the Earth’s temperature about 30° warmer than it would otherwise be. Current life on Earth could not be sustained without the natural greenhouse effect.

Greenhouse Gas

A gas that absorbs radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of radiation ( infrared radiation ) emitted by the Earth’s surface and by clouds. The gas in turn emits infrared radiation from a level where the temperature is colder than the surface. The net effect is a local trapping of part of the absorbed energy and a tendency to warm the planetary surface. Water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) are the primary greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, chlorofluorocarbon ( CFC ) halogenated fluorocarbons (HCFCs), ozone (O3), perfluorinated carbons (PFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are some other greenhouse gases.

GWP

Global warming potential, compared to the GWP of CO2 which is defined as 1. All GWP figures used in this report are based on the 100 year time horizon.

GWP tonnes

A measure of global warming impact obtained by multiplying the tonnes of emission of a gas by its GWP.

Halocarbons

Compounds containing either chlorine, bromine, fluorine or iodine and carbon. Sometime Hydrogen can be present in the compound. Such compounds can act as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The chlorine and bromine containing halocarbons are also involved in the depletion of the ozone layer

HC

Hydrocarbons – a family of chemicals containing hydrogen and carbon.

HCFC

Hydrochlorofluorocarbon, a member of FC family containing hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine and carbon.

Hermetic system

Refers to a hermetically sealed refrigeration system with an all welded construction. There are no gaskets or rotating seals.

HFC

Hydrofluorocarbon, a member of the FC family containing only hydrogen, fluorine and carbon.

Hydrocarbons

Substances containing only hydrogen and carbon. Fossil fuels are made up of hydrocarbons. Some hydrocarbon compounds are major air pollutants.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)

Compounds containing hydrogen, fluorine, chlorine, and carbon atoms. Although ozone depleting substances, they are less potent at destroying stratospheric ozone than chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). They have been introduced as temporary replacements for CFCs and are also greenhouse gases.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

Compounds containing only hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon atoms. They were introduced as alternatives to ozone depleting substances in serving many industrial, commercial, and personal needs. HFCs are emitted as by-products of industrial processes and are also used in manufacturing. They do not deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, but they are greenhouse gases

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC was established jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization in 1988. The purpose of the IPCC is to assess information in the scientific and technical literature related to all significant components of the issue of climate change. With its capacity for reporting on climate change, its consequences, and the viability of adaptation and mitigation measures, the IPCC is also looked to as the official advisory body to the world’s governments on the state of the science of the climate change issue. IPCC organized the development of internationally accepted methods for conducting national greenhouse gas emission inventories. Link

Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)

A method for determining the environmental performance of a product, from cradle to grave, including the depletion of resources and the release of polluting and harmful substances and their impacts, both at the local and global scale.

Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP)

An analysis of energy consumption due to the use of the product, through its complete lifetime, from cradle to grave, identifying direct and indirect contributions to the climate impacts.

Lifetime (Atmospheric)

The time constant forremoval of any substance from the atmosphere. It depends on the rates of chemical reactions and physical remove processes and is approximately one third of the time interval for total removal of the substance.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

Ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, normal butane, butylene, and isobutane produced at refineries or natural gas processing plants, including plants that fractionate new natural gas plant liquids.

Measures

Actions that can be taken by a government or a group of governments, often in conjunction with the private sector, to accelerate the use of technologies or other practices that reduce GHG emissions.

ODP

Ozone Depletion Potential, compared to ODP of CFC11 which is defined as 1.

OEL

Occupational exposure limit, a measurement of toxicity based on the concentration level permissible in areas with long term human occupation.

Operator

Is defined in the F-Gas Regulation as:

” The natural or legal person exercising actual power over the technical functioning of the equipment and systems covered by this Regulation; a Member State may, in defined, specific situations, designate the owner as being responsible for the operator’s obligations.”

In many circumstances the identity of the operator will be obvious – the phrase “exercising actual power” is an important one and it usually places responsibility with the end user, even if there is a comprehensive maintenance contract in place.

An area of potential ambiguity is in landlord-tenant relationships e.g. in an air-conditioned office building. In these circumstances you may need to refer to the legal responsibilities set down in the lease – this would normally specify the party who is responsible for the operation and upkeep of the system.

Ozone (O3)

A colorless gas with a pungent odor, having the molecular form of O3, found in two layers of the atmosphere, the stratosphere (about 90% of the total atmospheric loading) and the troposphere (about 10%). Ozone is a form of oxygen found naturally in the stratosphere that provides a protective layer shielding the Earth from ultraviolet radiation’s harmful health effects on humans and the environment. In the troposphere, ozone is a chemical oxidant and major component of photochemical smog. Ozone can seriously affect the human respiratory system.

Ozone depleting substance (ODS)

A family of man-made compounds that includes, but are not limited to, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), bromofluorocarbons (halons), methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, methyl bromide, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These compounds have been shown to deplete stratospheric ozone, and therefore are typically referred to as ODSs.

Ozone precursors

Chemical compounds, such as carbon monoxide, methane, volatile hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides, which in the presence of solar radiation react with other chemical compounds to form ozone, mainly in the troposphere.

Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)

A group of chemicals composed of carbon and fluorine only. PFCs are potentially emitted as by-products of industrial processes and are also used in manufacturing. PFCs do not harm the stratospheric ozone layer, but they are powerful greenhouse gases: CF4 has a global warming potential (GWP) of 6,500 and C2F6 has a GWP of 9,200. They have small uses as alternatives to ODS.

PFC

PFC refers to perfluorocarbons. PFCs are a family of chemicals that have a small number of specialist applications. They are never used in isolation as refrigerants but a small number of refrigerant blends include a tiny proportion of PFCs in their formulation. PFCs have a very high GWP (global warming potential) which means that any PFCs emitted to the atmosphere have a strong impact on global warming. For this reason, the F-Gas regulation is aimed at minimising emissions of PFCs.

Policies

Procedures developed and implemented by government(s) regarding the goal of mitigating climate change through the use of technologies and measures.

Radiative Forcing

A simple measure of the importance of a potential climate change mechanism. Radiative forcing is the perturbation to the energy balance of the Earth-atmosphere system in W/m²) following, for example, a change in the concentration of CO2 or a change in the output of the sun ; the climate system responds to the radiative forcing so as to re-establish the energy balance. A positive radiative forcing tends to warm the surface and a negative radiative forcing tends to cool the surface. In IPCC reports, radiative forcing is the perturbation of the energy balance of the surface troposphere system, after allowing for the atmosphere to re-adjust to a state of global mean radiative equilibrium.

Refrigerants

Click Refrigerants for a more detailed categorisation of refrigerant types.

Refrigeration

Refers to cooling below ambient temperature. This includes domestic refrigerators and freezers, retail displays, industrial process cooling and cold storage warehouses.

Secondary systems

Refers to refrigeration systems in which a secondary fluid such as water or glycol solution is cooled by a primary refrigerant and then circulated around a building, factory or process to deliver cooling.

Specific refrigerant charge

The ratio of the quantity of refrigerant contained in a system divided by the cooling duty (kg/kW).

Stratosphere

Second layer of the atmosphere, extending from about 12 to 48 kilometers above the earth’s surface. It contains small amounts of gaseous ozone (O3), which filters out about 99 percent of the incoming harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Some commercial airline flights operate at a cruising altitude in the lower stratosphere.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Troposphere

The lowest layer of the atmosphere and contains about 95 percent of the mass of air in the Earth’s atmosphere. The troposphere extends from the Earth’s surface up to about 10 to 15 kilometers. All weather processes take place in the troposphere. Ozone that is formed in the troposphere plays a significant role in both the greenhouse effect and urban smog.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The international treaty unveiled at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in June 1992. The UNFCCC commits signatory countries to stabilize anthropogenic (i.e. human-induced) greenhouse gas emissions to “levels that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UNFCCC also requires that all signatory parties develop and update national inventories of anthropogenic emissions of all greenhouse gases not otherwise controlled by the Montreal Protocol.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Any one of several organic compounds which are released to the atmosphere by plants or through vaporization of oil products, and which are chemically reactive and are involved in the chemistry of tropospheric ozone production. VOCs contribute significantly to photochemical smog production and certain health problems.

Voluntary Measures

Measures to reduce GHG emissions that are adopted by firms or other actors in the absence of governments mandates. Voluntary measures help make climate-friendly products or processes more readily available or encourage consumers to incorporate environmental values in their market choices.

Weather

Weather is the specific condition of the atmosphere at a particular place and time. It is measured in terms of such things as wind, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloudiness, and precipitation. In most places, weather can change from hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Climate is the average of weather over time and space. Climate is what you expect (e.g. cold winters) and ‘weather’ is what you get (e.g. a blizzard).

WEEE Directive

Waste electrical and electronic equipment are subject to Directive 2012/19/EU , in order to reduce the quantity of such waste and to improve the environmental performance of the economic operators involved in the treatment of such waste. More details