CO2, You, and the World in .NET framework

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CO2, You, and the World
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Let s begin with what we cannot change. Humans and animals exhale CO2 with every breath. According to various sources, on average, a human produces approximately 450 liters by volume, or 900 grams by weight, of CO2 every day. How does this compare to nonorganic sources of CO2 According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, burning one gallon of gasoline produces 2421 grams of CO2. Burning a gallon of diesel fuel produces 2778 grams of CO2. The gas or charcoal you use in your backyard barbecue releases CO2. The gasoline you burn in your lawnmower, once combusted, releases CO2.
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FIGURE 9-1 Surface air temperature (global warming) predictions from 1960 to 2060
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http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/105582main_GlobalWarming_2060_lg.jpg
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Atmosphere 750 CO2
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92 90
Rivers Surface Ocean 1,020 40 91.6 100
6 4 Dissolved Organic Carbon <700 6
Deep Ocean 38,100 0.2 Sediments 150
Storage in GIC Fluxes in GIC/yr
FIGURE 9-2 The carbon cycle
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/images/content/174212main_rn _berrien2.jpg
And even as your grass clippings or tree trimmings degrade, they release CO2 through a process called the carbon cycle (Figure 9-2), a biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is released into the Earth s atmosphere. A tree offers a great example of how the carbon cycle works in the natural world. A tree can grow and thrive for hundreds of years. Throughout its lifetime, the tree consumes nutrients from the soil and carbon and oxygen from the air; it then releases water and oxygen into the atmosphere (which benefits us, of course, since we breathe oxygen and drink water). The tree (and, for that matter, the forest in which it is growing) is considered a carbon sink that stores carbon in living systems. When a tree dies, it begins to decay and returns some of the carbon to the atmosphere, but it does this very slowly. Now think about what happens when we humans step into the picture. Humans plant forests to produce wood quickly to harvest for paper, lumber, and other products. Suppose a 500-year-old tree is cut down to use for lumber. Loggers use a chainsaw to cut down the tree; the chainsaw uses gasoline, a fossil fuel that produces CO2. The logs are shipped to a mill in a diesel-burning truck, releasing more CO2. The wood is milled
Nine in a sawmill that is powered by electricity, which is generated by burning coal, which releases more CO2. The wood is dried in a kiln, releasing more CO2. The wood is then shipped via truck or rail to a store near you, again releasing CO2. Consumers drive to the store in their gas-guzzling automobiles to purchase the lumber, releasing more CO2. The upshot: through our massive consumption of fossil fuels and our consumption of beneficial carbon sinks trees we have accelerated the release of CO2 into the atmosphere in a phenomenal way. As an individual, if you drive a gas-burning car, almost half of the CO2 you produce (called your carbon footprint) is created by your vehicle. In fact, everything we humans consume creates some CO2. This is unavoidable, but each of us can decrease our carbon footprint by living smarter and more conscientiously. In addition, if you live smarter and reduce your carbon footprint, you will also save money. On a global level, China and the United States are the world s largest economies and the largest CO2 polluters, with China being number one (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7347638.stm). The worldwide greenhouse gas emissions flowchart (http://cait.wri.org/figures .php page=/World-FlowChart) shows a complex picture of how CO2 is produced and in what quantities. The Kyoto Protocol (http://unfccc.int/2860.php), first adopted in 1997, is an international treaty aimed at reducing and stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale. As of this writing, the United States has neither ratified nor resigned from the protocol; most other nations have signed and ratified the agreement and are attempting to reduce their CO2 emissions accordingly.
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