Greenhouse gas emissions drive climate change and some people drive more than others! In this homework we dig into the numbers to get a feel for how rich countries and poor countries compare and contrast in their emission of greenhouse gas.
For background information on the meaning of greenhouse gas emissions for climate change and the meaning of climate change for people and ecosystems, please find the following sources in “Homework_Three_Stuff” in “Files:” statements by the National Academies of Sciences of the United States and other countries in 2005 and 2009 on the urgency to limit greenhouse gas emissions to prevent climate change (academies2005.pdf and academies2009.pdf), headline statements drawn from the summary for policymakers of the Synthesis Report and the Physical Science Basis Report of the Assessment Report 5 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Keeling Curve of carbon dioxide concentration in the air measured at Mauna Loa (mauno_loa2018.pdf) as of 24 September 2018.
In 2016 each person in the United States, on average, put 17.92 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air, the most per person of any place on Earth. In 2005 the US average was 20.0 metric tons while the average person in the world put twenty times less in the air: slightly more than 1.1 metric tons. In India, for example, in 2005 on average each person put this much in the air. The average person in Bangladesh in 2005 put twenty times less carbon dioxide in the air than the average person here: just 0.82 metric tons!
Please analyze the greenhouse gas emissions of three (3) countries among the 196 which are parties to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change available at the website maintained by the United Nations:
http://di.unfccc.int/detailed_data_by_party (Links to an external site.)
Please choose one (1) Annex I country not the United States and two (2) Annex II countries not India and Bangladesh. Please set the year to “Base Year (Convention), 1990, and last year,” the category to “Total,” the gas to “Aggregate GHGs,” and the unit to kt CO2 equivalent.” We are interested in the second row labeled “Total GHG emissions with LULUCF” in the last column labeled “Last Inventory Year” For example, the results for the United States, India, and Bangladesh are reported in the second column of the following table:
Country Total GHG (kt CO2 eq) Population (thousands) GHG per person (tCO2/person)
United States 5,794,521.57 323,406 17.92
India 1,848,317.78 1,231,000 1.50
Bangladesh 117,647.76 143,431 0.82
Please make a similar table, taking the population (third column above) for the year listed as the most recent in the Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The World Bank Open Data initiative has population listed by country:
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL (Links to an external site.)
To get the population data we click on the country to get a graph of its population and then bring the mouse over the year we seek to get the population for that year. Please be careful to convert the result to thousands of people: Divide the result by one thousand if it is given in terms of people and multiply by one million if it is given in billions of people. (Links to an external site.)
In the the last column (GHG per person) please put the ratio of the second column to the third rounded to two decimal places: This is the number of tons of greenhouse gas emitted per person in the last inventory year