What is a Carbon Footprint ?

Carbon Dioxide, or CO2, is a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change. It is produced when anything containing carbon is burned, such as coal, natural gas, petrol and other oil derivatives. In order to avoid climate change, we need to reduce the amount of CO2 we produce, both directly and indirectly. Although some suggest that all we need to do is implement some technical fixes for climate change and carry on as normal (see Climate Engineering: A critical review of proposals, their scientific and political context, and possible impacts), the only long-term solution is to cut our CO2 emissions. The average person in the UK produces around 11 tonnes of CO2 aย year.ย  Many climate scientists believe that we must try and reduce this to around 2.5 tonnes a year if we are going to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Your carbon footprint is a measure of how[…]

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What is climate change?

Fossil fuels contain carbon which has been buried in the ground for millions of years. When burnt, the carbon is released into the atmosphere in the form ofย carbon dioxide , a colourless odourless gas. Carbon dioxide is one of the gasses known as greenhouse gasses , so-called because they trap the sun’s heat within the atmosphere in much the same way as the glass in a greenhouse traps the heat. As the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere increases, the global temperature rises. The effects of this are wide ranging, and include: Melting of polar ice caps and glaciers in mountainous regions Desertification Rising sea levels due to melted ice Reduced albedo of the planet due to melted ice Flooding due to melting of glaciers Flooding due to increased sea levels More extreme weather, like Hurricane Katrina Collectively, these effects are known as climate change. Our planet exists in[…]

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