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HW 7 Carbon Footprint & Global Climate Change
Part 1. Carbon Footprint Calcula2on
Most scien*sts believe that global warming has already begun and it is increasing. It can be
dated back to the industrial revolu*on, which began during the mid-1700’s. Since this period of
*me, humans have contributed to climate change by expelling carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere, most commonly by driving vehicles. There are a number of really signiﬁcant and
severe consequences that have been exacerbated by these addi*onal greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere, include warming temperatures, glacial ice mel*ng, sea level rise, and ocean
acidiﬁca*on, to name a few. We will discuss these consequences in class.
For this assignment, I would like you to calculate your carbon footprint by going to the following
website: hJp://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/
The website will ask you to input informa*on about the things that you use every day. From
there, it will calculate your es*mated greenhouse gas emissions and compare you to the
average person.
Sample:
e
l
p
S
m
a
HW 7 Carbon Footprint & Global Climate Change
Carbon Footprint Conclusions:
1. Answer the ques*ons in the Home Energy, Driving & Flying, Food & Diet, and Recycling &
Waste tabs. Calculate your carbon footprint in tons of CO2 eq/year and write the value
below:
2. Which of the tabs/categories represents your largest contribu*on of carbon?
3. Where can you reduce your carbon input the most? Name the category and a speciﬁc ac*on
or strategy you can take.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years once it
is released into the atmosphere. It has been es*mated that 20-30% of human CO2 emissions is
absorbed by the world’s oceans.
4. Calculate (in tons of CO2 eq/year) how much
of your carbon contribu*on is absorbed by the
ocean, assuming 25% of the carbon you
contribute to the atmosphere is absorbed by
the ocean.
HW 7 Carbon Footprint & Global Climate Change
Part 2. Learning about Global Climate Change
Next, we’re going to explore some current climate data. I’ve selected some data from the
5. The above graph is for California from 1895-2018. How would you describe the trend of this
graph?
6. In 1895 what what was the average temperature for California? In 2017?
7. How much has the average temperature risen in California between 1895 – 2017?
HW 7 Carbon Footprint & Global Climate Change
Next, let’s explore the temperature trends in the US over the last few years. Below I’ve included
a map that shows how temperatures have changed annually in the US.
8. Which areas of the US have warmed up the most?
HW 7 Carbon Footprint & Global Climate Change
Last year I recorded some numbers based on maps from the NOAA (Na*onal Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administra*on) website, so that we can use it for this assignment. I’ve included
the results below. Use the data provided to graph the results.
# of US
States
# of Contiguous US States with Higher than Average Temperatures
50
14
1901-1910
2
45
1911-1920
2
40
1921-1930
20
35
1931-1940
42
1941-1950
34
1951-1960
41
1961-1970
5
1971-1980
10
1981-1990
42
1991-2000
50
2001-2010
50
2011-2014
# of US States (contiguous)
1895-1900
30
25
20
15
10
5
50
0
1895-1900
1911-1920
1931-1940
1951-1960
1971-1980
1991-2000
Time
9. In the space below, please summarize what you’ve found by graphing this data. In the US,
what has happened to the overall temperature? Have any states been lee unaﬀected by
this?
2011-2014

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