Carbon Facts

The average person's carbon footprint is about 10 tonnes, which is equivalent to filling 24 million balloons with carbon

We've all heard of the terms carbon, global warming and carbon footprint. But, what does it all mean? Here's a quick guide to carbon:

Carbon dioxide(CO2)
Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere everytime we burn fossil fuels. It is also caused by deforestation. In a natural carbon cycle, CO2 is re-absorbed by plants and trees, however, we are producing it so quickly that plants and trees can't re-absorb it all.

Fossil fuels
From heating our homes and offices to fuelling our cars, fossil fuels are used. Oil, coal and natural gas are all fossil fuels. They are the primary source for almost 80 per cent of the indutrial world's energy. They are non-renewable resources that will eventually burn out.

Carbon footprint
Your 'carbon footprint' is the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted through your daily activities. It takes into account things such as, how much water you use to shower, how you travel to university, where you buy your food and how your heat your home. A carbon footprint is usually expressed in tonnes of  CO2 emitted per year.

Global warming
This is the name given by scientists for the gradual increase in temperature of the Earth's surface caused by extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Around the world, climate change could cause greater risks from rising sea levels, flooding, droughts, food shortages, diseases, water shortages and loss of tropical forests.

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