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15

No. The worst greenhouse gas is water vapor (H2O). But water is responsible for the natural greenhouse effect. CO2 is the greenhouse gas with the "least" effect on global warming but with the most quantities available in the atmosphere resulting from anthropogenic influence/sources. Therefore, all greenhouse gases are compared to CO2, and we talk about CO2-...


14

I share your frustration with some of the online "carbon footprint" calculators, but if you really care about analyzing the components of your impact, you can still get useful information out of them. First, I think a disclaimer is necessary. Any such calculation is going to have to make quite a few assumptions. Some assumptions may lead to slightly ...


12

Fossil fuels contain less carbon-13 than carbon-12 (and no carbon-14), compared with the atmosphere, because the fuels derive from plants, which preferentially take up the more common carbon-12. The ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 in the atmosphere and ocean surface waters is steadily falling, showing that more carbon-12 is entering the atmosphere. This ...


10

Original answer (which had a long explanation): I proposed using degree days information to determine a baseload value for consumption of electricity and natural gas by region, and assume anything above this baseload was used for heating and cooling. This assumed that all seasonal changes in energy consumption were for heating and cooling only (so no change ...


10

Yes, anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are a real threat: the scientific evidence for this is overwhelming. The IPCC summaries provide, every 6 or 7 years, an overview of all the science. The most recent completed one is AR4; AR5 is being finalised now, for publication over 2013-2014. The physical science basis is summarised by IPCC Working Group 1 And yes, ...


9

Solar thermal Given your limited criteria, solar thermal is in fact the ideal solution. I assume you say that "[solar] heating is so inefficient and the materials for solar panels introduce a can of worms sustainability", you refer to PhotoVoltaic panels, and not solar concentrators (mirrors and lens), which are silly cheap and sustainable. A large ...


8

It is. However, the aerobic process of composting produces CO2, which is better than the anaerobic processes which result from burying compostable materials under layers of sand (preventing access to air), such that it creates methane. If the methane isn't captured (and in most landfills on earth, it still is not) then it causes climate change at a rate of ...


8

From the first search I tried the first result says: According to the Second IMO GHG Study 2009, which is the most comprehensive and authoritative assessment of the level of GHG emitted by ships, international shipping was estimated to have emitted 870 million tonnes, or about 2.7% of the global man-made emissions of CO2 in 2007. Exhaust gases are the ...


8

Vegetarian Diet vs Avg US Meat Consumer Brighter Planet did a report on the American Carbon footprint. It gives the following averages for US diet types: omnivore - ~6500 lbs CO2 per person per year vegetarian ~5100 lbs CO2 per person per year vegan ~4400 lbs CO2 per person per year That's over a 20% improvement for vegetarianism over a meat diet and ...


7

CO2 Don't have time to fully address this now, but here's an interesting plot of results from Boston, USA: As you can see from this graph, CO2 levels can vary quite a bit over time simply within one city. You can see a seasonal amplitude of +/- ~12 ppm that's due to plant photosynthesis speeding up (reducing CO2) in summer, and slowing down (allowing ...


7

Nothing will beat doing an audit, particularly once you have made progress on the really obvious stuff shown by generic calculators. My wife compiled a spreadsheet of emissions embodied in many activities and products, with a ledger you can fill out as you go. Measure everything you consume or dispose of for a period, then cut back to tracking unusual ...


6

Conservation It is a fundamental law of physics that matter/mass/energy (all being, ultimately, the same thing) cannot be created or destroyed — they just change form. Under 'normal' conditions on Earth, any carbon atom that exists will continue to exist in perpetuity. It can and will form temporary bonds with other atoms to form distinct substances with ...


5

Taking this video as a reference (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYZKGlxutfw), a 20 lb (I take that as 10 kg) tank as in your burner lasts for 6 to 12 hours. So roughly 1 kg per hour. Assuming pure propane, which has 36 g/mol C and 8 g/mol H, every kg of propane contains 36/44 kg carbon. Under complete combustion this leads to 3 kg CO2, so that is your ...


4

As LShaver and Gerrit also mentioned in their comments, an exact answer would depend on the scope and method of calculation. You've already mentioned you are only interested in the search itself so I guess this means you don't want to include (part of) the footprint of Google's servers, the web-indexing process, or information storage about your query. But ...


4

It's a cosmetic issue. They're just using the language in an idiosyncratic way. What this particular document means by "GWP" on page 24 is simply the amount of CO2-equivalent emissions. Normally that would just be labelled kgCO2e or tCO2e for kilogrammes or tonnes of emissions respectively. Earlier in the same document, they'd used GWP to refer to carbon ...


4

Working from @Christoph's answer, here's what I get: Baseline heat emission is 264,000 BTU/hour (at full blast) 43,700 BTU in a kilogram of propane, so that's 6 kg/hour 6 kg of propane contains 6 x 36 / 44 = 4.9 kg of carbon 4.9 kg of carbon forms 4.9 x 44 / 12 = 18 kg of CO2 emitted by the fire pit per hour. Comparing to driving my own car: I drive a ...


4

Extracting natural gas from pingos is likely not cost-effective. From the article cited in the question: A count of 7,000 pingos, alternative included, was likely an underestimate, in Romanovsky’s view. Across the entire Arctic permafrost, he estimated there may be as many as 100,000. But he could not say how many fell into which category — a ...


3

tl;dr - Comparing Wyoming to, say, New York, the largest source of CO2 emissions in both states is the power sector. Wyoming uses mostly coal for power, which emits more CO2 per kWh generated than any other source, while NY uses a mix of mostly natural gas, with nuclear and hydro. Additionally, Wyoming exports power (increasing emissions counts) while NY ...


3

Change in capacity From 2004 to 2014, nuclear capacity did not change substantially: Change in generation However, the generation mix did change quite a bit (2014 nuclear data not available, so this chart ends in 2013): Summary of data Here's a summary of the data from 2011, along with the two years before and after: ...


3

I looked into a similar question 2 years ago and came to the conclusion that it's impossible to answer this. The problem is that Amazon doesn't disclose any information about their carbon footprint. In fact in 2011 when an investor proposed that Amazon would participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Amazon Board of Directors actively encouraged their ...


3

You must read The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Kieth: http://www.bookdepository.com/Vegetarian-Myth-Lierre-Keith/9781604860801 It's an excellent book, well cited and rich in information, presenting a factual viewpoint that my vegetarian-of-17-years self had to stand up and take notice of. Such a complicated topic, this book really opened my eyes. Needless to ...


3

Based on the question as currently worded, I believe you're concerned about fraudulent and 'anyway' offsets - paying money for a business to do what they would have done anyway. For example, if a company knew it was going to install solar panels on a roof that they were already going to install solar on because of tax incentives, you wouldn't want to give ...


2

This is a partial answer, but it's too long to be a comment. It is not clear to me that there are greenhouse benefits. Transport: Most of the weight in transported food is water. A truckload of carrots is going to cost close to the same as a truckload of hamburger. A vegetarian diet tends to have a lot more fiber in it. I would expect that a such a ...


2

Short answer: yes they do. It's completely natural that decomposing organic materials release CO2 and other greenhouse gases like methane and nitrogen oxides in some quantities. Both during compostation (which is usually done at normal atmosphere) and after putting it in the field. I highly doubt that the mentioned different procedures really lead to ...


2

I think a review of photosynthesis is in order. The CO2 plants take in are actually stored as sugars. Burning this will release it, but wood that decomposes naturally would have those sugars broken down by animals and fungi etc (who will release co2 via respiration) but will actually use much of that carbon to build their own bodies and keep the carbon ...


2

Almost all of the well-known mitigation tools yield fast benefits. PV's payback is around a year. Onshore wind around 3 months, offshore wind around 9 months. The payback time on each of these three depends on the weather regime where it's located. Biomass when done well less has a payback of less than a year. Most energy efficiency measures take less than ...


1

The simple answer is that burning it would be roughly carbon neutral (it releases what it absorbed during growth) versus letting it decompose where it would be a carbon sink. Fossil fuels in the ground came from this vegetative carbon (+ millions of years and pressure). Burning renewable fuels is considered better than burning fossil fuels in the ground ...


1

I think you've misunderstood the CO2 issue. The problem with greenhouse gases, the way in which they present a threat to the very existence of human civilisations, is because we are adding C/CO2 to the carbon cycle. Growing food, eating food, metabolising food, exhaling CO2, is wholly within the carbon cycle: that is, it does not in itself add extra C/CO2 ...


1

Great question! I'm not sure if there is a globally agreed-upon standard, but here is what I would propose. A Shared Baseline The first problem is that all countries and cities are approaching the task of reducing emissions from different starting points. Some countries have been very wealthy with high emissions, and others have been very poor with low ...


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