Published on July 28, 2014
Making a Difference One Watt at a Time: Making a Difference One Watt at a Time Introduction: Introduction Is the world getting warmer? If so, are the actions of mankind to blame for earth’s temperature increases? What can/should be done about these issues? History of Earth’s Climate: History of Earth’s Climate Earth formed ~4.6 billion years ago Originally very hot Sun’s energy output only 70% of present Liquid water present ~4.3 billion years History of Earth’s Climate: History of Earth’s Climate Life appeared ~3.8 billion years ago Photosynthesis began 3.5-2.5 billion years ago Produced oxygen and removed carbon dioxide and methane (greenhouse gases) Earth went through periods of cooling (“Snowball Earth”) and warming Earth began cycles of glacial and interglacial periods ~3 million years ago Earth’s Temperature: Sun Earth’s Temperature Solar Energy Solar Energy Earth’s Temperature: Sun Earth’s Temperature Solar Energy Radiation Cooling Earth’s Temperature: Sun Earth’s Temperature Solar Energy Radiation Cooling Earth’s Temperature: Sun Earth’s Temperature Solar Energy Radiation Cooling Greenhouse Effect: Greenhouse Effect Sun Earth’s Atmospheric Gases: Earth’s Atmospheric Gases Nitrogen (N 2 ) Oxygen (O 2 ) Water (H 2 O) Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ) Methane (CH 4 ) Non- Greenhouse Gases 99% Greenhouse Gases 1% PowerPoint Presentation: The U.S. emits about 6.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases annually, 25% of the world’s total. Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for approximately 100 years, methane lasts about 12 years. Other greenhouse gases last even longer . As these gases continue to raise surface temperatures, they trigger the release of even greater quantities of carbon dioxide and methane that are currently trapped in frozen Arctic permafrost and tundra soils, further increasing temperatures. …potentially causing “runaway global warming”. 6.4 billion metric tons CO2/yr These greenhouse gases last a long time… Warming begets more warming… A feedback mechanism ensues… Worldwide Carbon Emissions: Worldwide Carbon Emissions Carbon (10 9 metric tons) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1750 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000 Year Liquid fuel Total Gas fuel Solid fuel Annual Carbon Emissions: Annual Carbon Emissions Annual carbon emissions Atmospheric CO 2 Atmospheric CO 2 average 1955 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 0 4 6 8 2 Year Carbon (10 9 metric tons) Future Carbon Dioxide Levels: Future Carbon Dioxide Levels Increasing CO 2 emissions, especially in China and developing countries Likely to double within 150 years: Increased coal usage Increased natural gas usage Decreased petroleum usage (increased cost and decreasing supply) PowerPoint Presentation: 40 % Of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from households: Vehicles Home Heating Electricity Households are Big Contributors to Climate Change PowerPoint Presentation: So how can each of us slow global warming now? PowerPoint Presentation: Because greenhouse gas emissions are tied very closely to our energy consumption, using less fossil fuel based energy puts fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This will help slow global warming. Reduce our consumption of fossil fuels Mountaintop removal for coal mining near Rawl, West Virginia. 50% of electricity in the United States is produced from coal. ( Average Electricity Emission Factors : Average Electricity Emission Factors Kitchen Light Fixture: Kitchen Light Fixture Three 60 Watt Bulbs PowerPoint Presentation: 18 W 3 bulbs 18 x3 54 W 10 hours a day 54 x 10 540 Wh/day 540x365 197,100 Wh/day 197,100 1000 197.1 kWh/yr PowerPoint Presentation: 197 kWh $115.34 $35.46 743.3 228.52 514.8 $79.88 PowerPoint Presentation: We can make some simple substitutions Replacing just 1 incandescent light bulb with 1 compact florescent bulb saves about 150 pounds of carbon dioxide per year! If every American household replaced just 5 high-use incandescent bulbs with compact florescent lights we'd collectively save more than $8 billion each year in energy costs and we would prevent the greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from nearly 10 million cars. Source: http://www.energystar.gov PowerPoint Presentation: Small changes really add up Replace your old refrigerator with a new Energy Star: Annual savings: $90; 700 pounds CO 2 Set your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter Annual savings: $135; 1400 pounds CO 2 Wash clothes in cold water only Annual savings: $70; 500 pounds CO 2 Drive JUST 10 fewer miles per week Annual savings: $80; 520 pounds CO 2 Reduce your garbage by 10% through greater recycling or reduced packaging Annual savings: 1200 pounds CO 2 Caulk and weather-strip around doors and windows Annual savings: $80; 650 pounds CO 2 * These are mid-range estimates from published sources; your savings may vary. Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World 1. How many of you leave your bedroom light on when you are not in the room? Turning off lights saves energy and money. The more energy used, the more rivers are dammed or more fossil fuel is burned, causing air pollution and increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere . 2 pts d Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World How many of you walked, bicycled or took public transportation to get to school today, instead of coming by private automobile? Our reliance on cars that burn fossil fuels is one of the major causes of increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and it is the primary cause of urban smog. 3 pts u Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World How many of you, when you drink a soft drink, throw the container into the garbage? Throwing away containers of any kind wastes energy and resources and adds to our waste problem. Many towns are running out of landfill space . 3 pts d Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World How many of you eat fresh vegetables instead of canned or frozen? Fresh vegetables cook more quickly and are usually more nutritious than frozen or canned foods. Canned and frozen vegetables are often over-processed, contain additives, contribute to air pollution (transport and packaging) and add to our waste problem. 4 pts u Blowing Up Your World Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World How many of you use a hairdryer or other energy-consuming convenience appliance, especially in the morning? Hairdryers use a lot of energy. In the morning so much energy demand is put on our grids that power companies have to find other sources of energy just to meet the morning rush hour 2 pts d Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World . How many of you, when you go to a store, get a bag for your purchases, even if you have only one or two small items to carry? Making paper and plastic bags uses energy and resources. The bags add to our litter and waste problems, and plastic is not biodegradable. Recycling is not the best answer because collecting and recycling materials requires energy. Instead, carry a reusable cloth bag or a knapsack with you. 3 pts d Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World How many of you carry your lunch to school in a lunch box or reusable container? Making paper and plastic bags uses energy and resources. 3 pts u Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World How many of you eat take-out or cafeteria food that is served in foam or plastic containers? Polystyrene and other plastic containers are made from precious petrochemicals, do not decompose in landfills, and release toxic gases when they are burned in incinerators. 10 pts d Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World How many of you use handkerchiefs instead of tissues and use cloth towels instead of paper towels? Paper comes from trees. The more of it we use, the more trees that are cut down 2 pts d Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World How many are changing incandescent bulbs for new compact fluorescent bulbs? Changing one bulb could save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide per year! 10 pts u Blowing Up Your World: Blowing Up Your World 31 - 40 Very good. You're an environmentalist! 21 - 30 Good, you're starting to save the world. 11 - 20 Lots of room for improvement. 0 - 10 You're exiled to the town dump! PowerPoint Presentation: Our take-home message… Each of us must take steps to protect our Earth's climate.