Carbon Footprint

Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration

A carbon footprint is "the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person."[1] Greenhouse gases can be emitted through transport, land clearance, and the production and consumption of food, fuels, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, and services.[2] For simplicity of reporting, it is often expressed in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent of other GHGs, emitted. (Source: Wikipedia).

Data Entry

  1. Calculate your personal carbon footprint.
  2. How much carbon dioxide was released by commuting between your school and the university? Determine the distance that you commute from your home to school. The address of CSUN is 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330.
  3. Complete the survey.

Mapping Greenhouse Gasses where you live

  1. EPA learning activity
  2. EPA Carbon Dioxide monitoring
  3. Enter your findings in the quickwrite provided by your instructor

Results and Analysis

  1. Explain the ecological significance and implications of the two graphs shown above.
  2. Examine each tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet.
  3. Examine the data - How does your commute compare to that of others in the survey?
  4. Examine the map and determine identify groups of people that could carpool.
  5. Review World Trends on Carbon Dioxide Emissions (Gapminder). How does your carbon footprint compare with the average carbon footprint of other Americans? How does it compare with the carbon footprint of Haitians? (Haiti is the poorest country in the western Hemisphere)

Visualization of a metric ton of carbon dioxide