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Daily Lifestyle Ghg Emissions

Autor:   •  June 21, 2012  •  Essay  •  414 Words (2 Pages)  •  762 Views

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Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are released to atmosphere as a result of our energy requirements. This carbon footprint is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e), and allows for the different greenhouse gases to be compared relative to a common reference of weight of carbon dioxide (CO2). Emissions of the various greenhouse gases can be quantified relative to their Carbon Dioxide equivalent based upon their global warming potential. Multiplying the emissions of each of the six greenhouse gases by its 100 year global warming potential (GWP) will give us its CO2e. For example, the global warming potential for methane over 100 years is 21. In other words, an emission of one ton of methane is equivalent to the emission of 21 metric tons of carbon dioxide

As far as practical, in terms of data availability, the carbon footprint calculation should consider all six of the greenhouse gases listed in the Kyoto Protocol (1), namely, Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), Per fluorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). For the scope of this assignment only Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O) were considered.

The method used to ascertain the daily energy requirement has been based on that used by David MacKay in his book "Sustainable Energy" (2). The energy usage of each co-author was quantified in semester 1 to fulfil an intelligent estimate of basic amenities and services considered necessary to maintain existing standards of living. Namely: personal transport, heating and cooling, illumination, electrical hardware for IT and other appliances, food, goods / freight transport, manufacturing and utilities/services.

In practice this calculated estimate is conservative, as the true energy cost and hence GHG emissions of an item can be much higher than that assumed. The data compiled was tabulated and setup in a balance sheet format.

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