What Are Some Carbon Footprint Facts? Read To Know Better | Kidadl


What Are Some Carbon Footprint Facts? Read To Know Better

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You may have heard the term 'carbon footprint' in the context of environmentalism.

Essentially, a carbon footprint is a measurement of how much carbon dioxide an individual or organization releases in their activity.

It's important to understand the impact our actions have on the environment and to use this knowledge to make responsible decisions in how we live our lives. The more energy you use, the higher your carbon footprint, which is why it's important to reduce your energy use.

When we burn fossil fuels like oil and coal, we emit CO2 (carbon dioxide). Fossil fuel emissions are the primary cause of climate change. The amount of carbon dioxide that one person or organization releases have an impact on the total amount of CO2 released by all the people in that category.

This is because if one person burns a lot of oil, this creates a larger amount of CO2 emissions than if everyone in the country burned the same amount of oil. According to scientific studies and calculations, it takes a little over 4.3 lb (2 kg) to provide 2.2 lb (1 kg).

Invention Of Carbon Dioxide

The 17th-century French scientist, Joseph-Bienaime La Berge is credited with discovering CO2 gas in 1754. He found the gas by mixing nitric acid (HNO3) and hydrochloric acid (HCl), a process called nitration.

  • Carbon dioxide, known scientifically as CO2, is a colorless, odorless gas that occurs naturally in the environment.
  • It is a byproduct of chemical reactions that occur during the burning of fossil fuels, including coal, oil, and gas.
  • Several conditions can happen when carbon dioxide levels rise and they affect our health and the environment.
  • It contributes significantly to problems such as acid rain as well as global warming and climate instability.
  • A carbon footprint reflects how much CO2 an individual or organization releases into the atmosphere in a given period.
  • An entire movement has developed around the idea of reducing one's carbon footprint by using less energy, reducing consumption, and recycling.
  • Many people have tried to achieve this goal by driving smaller cars, choosing to live in some areas rather than others, and insulating their homes.
  • Others have done better by making a lifestyle change that involves reducing their carbon footprint; for example, taking public transportation or eating vegetarian meals that are more eco-friendly.
  • Certain lifestyle changes that reduce one's carbon footprint are significant.
  • In general, it is important to understand how your actions affect the environment and what you can do to care for the world around you.
  • On a larger scale, it is also important to understand the trends of climate change and how we can find solutions to this global challenge.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of several greenhouse gas types that contributes to global warming.
  • The average American generates about 1607 lb (729 kg) of CO2 per year. This is equal to the emissions from about six cars or two houses burning for an entire year.
  • CO2 is not only emitted from human activity, but it also occurs naturally in our atmosphere.
  • The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been rising for over a century and a half, with 36% increases since the '60s.
  • The increase of CO2 in our atmosphere creates the greenhouse effect, which is the warming of the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere due to the presence of certain gases, such as carbon dioxide.
  • The primary greenhouse gases are water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (O3), and methane (CH4).
  • The four main greenhouse gas contributors are water vapor, CO2, methane, and ozone. Of these, only CO2 is increasing as a direct result of human activity.
  • While water vapor and methane may also be significant contributors to total greenhouse gas levels, the primary contributor to global warming is CO2.

What daily activities need carbon dioxide?

Carbon dioxide plays a vital role in helping crops grow and convert the carbohydrates that plants create from sunlight into sugar.

  • Plants use carbon dioxide to turn sunlight and water into sugar for food.
  • People who work on rooftop vegetable products growth and indoor hydroponic growing systems use CO2 to help the plants grow. It contributes to food, a perfect vegetarian meal with these raw materials and reduces the waste.
  • The energy you use in preparing food like this would also be beneficial.
  • Speaking of food, global food loss and waste brings 4.4 GtCO2 eq or about 8% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas global emissions per year.
  • CO2 is also used in the production of fertilizers, such as ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), which is essential for growing corn, wheat, and other crops.
  • Carbon dioxide can be found in natural gas and petroleum products, such as gasoline, used to transport people and goods. It is also found in coal, which is used to generate electricity. Now, electricity use without sustainable systems has become common.
  • Oil refineries use CO2 to help convert crude oil (petroleum) into gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and other products.
  • CO2 is used in dry cleaning and fire extinguishers. It's also used for carbonation (the process of dissolving carbon dioxide in liquid, which creates gas bubbles), such as the bubbles you find in soda or beer.
  • Based on the above activities, CO2 is a vital ingredient in many functions in our everyday lives.
Carbon dioxide is released from burning coal, natural gas, and oil.

Effects Of Carbon Dioxide

Increased levels of carbon dioxide due to human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, cause global warming. It is a phenomenon that has affected the earth's climate, both in the past and in the present day. The burning of fossil fuels has caused an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

  • The earth's climate is a complex system that determines a wide range of factors such as regional weather patterns and sea-level changes.
  • There will likely be significant changes in global climate over the next century. Some of these changes may have positive effects, but an increasing number of scientists predict negative consequences.
  • Researchers have been studying the effects of increased carbon dioxide levels since the '50s.
  • Although they can't make reliable predictions about future climate change, they know that global warming is caused by excessive atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
  • Researchers have also been studying extreme weather events, and these studies show a link between higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and increases in extreme weather events.
  • For example, there is an association between higher carbon dioxide levels and global warming, as snow and ice melting can cause flooding.

Interesting Facts About Carbon Footprint

Did you know that the average carbon footprint is closer to 8000 lb (3628.739 kg) globally?

  • For an average person in the United States, it is 32000 lb (14514.95 kg), marking the highest rate in the world.
  • Detrimental environmental impact is inevitable with the total emissions, the current status of fuel economy, knowledge about energy use, natural environment, electric power, energy consumption, environmental science, food production, sustainable development, land use, food loss, electricity use, power plans, and other energy-related concerns.
  • Indoor plants can help lower Co2 levels in your home. These greenhouse gas levels have increased significantly in the past 150 years, due to a combination of factors including pollution and the burning of fossil fuels.
  • You should focus on ways to save energy given the global emissions because we have more threats to face when it comes to energy.
  • Studies indicate that each person's carbon footprint is about 40000 lb (1814.36 kg) of CO2 per year. That's about one-tenth of the world's total annual CO2 emissions.
  • CO2 is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas. Once it forms part of the atmosphere, it stays there for hundreds of years, helping to regulate the climate. However, elevated levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have been linked to many severe weather events and are causing our planet to warm.
  • A CO2 footprint is determined by factors such as how much fossil fuel an individual uses or how much CO2 is produced by an organization.

Did You Know...

Carbon footprint refers to the sum of greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by the individual or product and company.

  • Greenhouse gases contain CO2 and methane that are released from the burning of fossil fuels, factories, and transportation. And the majority of the source are factories, transportation, mines, and other industries.
  • It leads to change in the environment due to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. And many activities such as deforestation, wastewater, and changes in land use. CO2 is the most frequent gas and it is not dangerous as compared to others.
  • Land use contributes to climate change and IPCC estimates that land-use change contributes to net 1.6 ± 0.8 Gt carbon per year. It is huge. With direct emissions of greenhouse gases due to such usage, it becomes imperative for us to focus on ways to reduce emissions and overall carbon footprints.
  • As per the survey in 2015, European countries are the largest carbon emitters. Germany is the seventh and U.K. is the 17th. The only way to reduce the CO2 is the conservation of water that would save Earth from global warming.
  • Even the production of paper can also lead to the contribution of carbon emissions. And the production of food can lead to more carbon emissions. In a year there are 83% of the carbon emission produced by the food industries. As well, animals such as goat, sheep, and cattle release methane, and transporting of food also accounts for that.
  • On the other hand, power plants produce more global emissions usually from 90.23% fuel combustion. The onsite emission exclusively is several million tons depending on the technology level used in the power plants. Similarly, air travel causes 2% of human-induced CO2 emissions.
  • The number varies based on the industry. The manufacturing of electronic devices contributes to 85% of the carbon footprint.
  • This is an increase as electricity products contributed to 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, which means the electricity production contributes to the second-largest share of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It is to be noted that around 62% of electricity comes from the fuel economy - burning fossil fuel.
  • As per the study, wind and nuclear power produced the least amount of CO2 as compared to any of the other sources.
  • Solar and wind power do not release carbon at the time of operation. But it leaves a footprint at the time of construction.
  • Even hydropower leaves a large footprint during the process. It generates world's half CO2 output.
Written By
Lydia Samson

<p>A diligent and driven mass communications graduate from Caleb University, Lydia has experience in media and a passion for digital marketing and communications. She is an effective communicator and team-builder with strong analytical, management, and organizational skills. She is a self-starter with a positive, can-do attitude.</p>

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