Topics: Carbon dioxide, Ecological footprint, Global warming Pages: 5 (954 words) Published: February 13, 2013
(Individual Assignment worth 20 pts)

Ecological Footprint (def): “the land and water area that is required to support a defined human population and material standard indefinitely, using prevailing technology.”

SOURCE: Redefining Progress Glossary

PART I. Complete the following Background Reading:

( Ecological Footprints Accounts article in CLASS NOTES (pp 151-154) ( Ecological Footprint FAQ found on the Redefining Progress website at: PART II. Answer the following questions, based on what you’ve read:

1. What is the average world citizen’s ecological footprint? ___5.6_ (in acres) __1.2___ (in “planets” needed) WORTH 1 POINT TOTAL: each blank is worth .5 points

2. By what percent is humanity currently exceeding the biosphere’s ecological capacity? __20%__ WORTH 1 POINT TOTAL

3. What does sustainability mean?

[To answer, copy the definition you find in the article, on the webpage, or elsewhere, BUT put it in quotation marks and include a reference to the source. Following this, rewrite a definition using your own words to explain the concept. IMPORTANT: This will be graded according to the criteria for acceptable and unacceptable paraphrasing at: ]

Definition (with reference):
WORTH 2 POINTS: this definition needs to be in quotes and have a complete reference citation, including author or full website address and date. Ideally, your definition would have not used the word “sustainable” and would have related to the context of our course, but I accepted most definitions that were properly referenced. My own, originally phrased definition (with reference):

WORTH 2 POINTS: this definition should be paraphrased (not in direct quotes) and include a reference or references as sources of information upon which you based your own definition. Note: the reference should be a published source or available on the internet – and include a minimum of the author/title or website and date - enough for the reader to be able to find it. 4. Does the calculated footprint tend to be an overestimate or an underestimate? _underestimate_______

[Hint: Look under “Quiz Accuracy” in the Ecological Footprint FAQ ] WORTH 1 POINT

5. Carbon dioxide is an important gas related to global climatic change and it will be discussed a lot this semester in our NATS 101-GC course. How is the CO2 footprint part of the Ecological Footprint calculated?

[Hint: look under Absorbing Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the Components of the Ecological Footprint at: Remember, use acceptable paraphrasing only, or include quotations and a reference if you copy verbatim.]

Complete answer - The CO2 footprint is calculated “by estimated the biologically productive area that would be needed to sequester enough carbon emissions to avoid an increase in atmospheric CO2.” The world’s oceans absorb about 35% of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion; the remaining 65% is based on each year’s capacity of the world’s forests to sequester carbon. This capacity is estimated by averaging across 26 main forest biomes. SOURCE: (2005)

Credit was given for an answer that included the estimation of biologically productive areas or forests needed for carbon sequestration to avoid an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere and included a source reference.

PART III. Use the Ecological Footprint Calculator at to calculate your own footprint.

[Hints: You can calculate your footprint for your current residence (e.g., for dorm, apartment --...
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