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Carbon Footprint
Improve your geography skills in this quiz.

Carbon Footprint

During your studies of GCSE Geography, you will learn much about how humans put pressure on the environment due to our needs for resources. Management of the environment appears in several different sections of the syllabus and will often refer to the 'carbon footprint' of individuals, businesses, industries and whole nations.

Carbon footprints for MEDCs are generally greater than LEDCs due to greater industrialisation, greater wealth leading to more consumerism and a ready access to motorised transport. Some people believe that MEDCs should assist emerging economies to manage their carbon footprint.

A carbon footprint is the term used to measure human impact on the natural environment.

It works by calculating the greenhouse gases that we produce in our activities and has the units of kilograms of carbon dioxide per person. The carbon footprint of individuals vary considerably, some people make a big effort to reduce their carbon footprint for example, by using less energy, buying fewer consumer goods and using their motor vehicles less. In the UK, the average is about 10,000 kg of carbon dioxide per person but worldwide, the average is 4,000 kg of carbon dioxide per person.

The global search to satisfy the increasing demand for food can have positive and negative repercussions. Larger carbon footprints are one of the negative aspects due to the increasing number of 'food miles' travelled. In LEDCS, food production is usually local, often families grow their own. Transport is by hand and consequently has little impact on the carbon footprint of a nation.

As a country develops, the local production of food is less common, farmers seek new markets further afield in order to increase profits. Shops, particularly supermarkets, import foods from countries on the other side of the globe. Every mile that non-locally produced food travels requires transport, transport uses fossil fuels which releases greenhouse gases into the air. The greater the number of food miles, the greater the carbon footprint.

For which of the following can a carbon footprint be calculated?
All of the following
An individual
An Industry
A country
You can have a carbon footprint for an event, product, netball team, school etc
Which of the following is not a method of reducing a carbon footprint?
Buying food that has been grown locally
Reducing the number of plane journeys
Building low-cost homes
Investing in renewable energies
Methods of reducing a carbon footprint involve the reduction of greenhouse gases
When a government, company or individual does something that compensates for their carbon emissions, it is called carbon offsetting. Effectively this reduces their carbon footprint. Which of the following is not an example of a method of carbon offsetting?
Flue gas desulfurisation
Improved energy efficiency
Renewable energy
Tree planting schemes
The aim of carbon offsetting is to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere. Flue gas desulphurisation helps to reduce acid rain
Which of the following activities does not contribute directly to a person's carbon footprint?
Being driven to school
Taking a holiday abroad
Using a smartphone
Growing does not produce greenhouse gas emissions
Indirect carbon emissions are often overlooked when thinking about a personal carbon footprint. Which of the following is not an indirect carbon emission?
What you eat
Buying clothes
Indirect carbon emissions are the release of greenhouse gases that have not been directly created by the person. Driving is a direct carbon emission, the others are indirect as they are created during the production of the items
A carbon footprint of a country is given in ...
tonnes of carbon
litres of carbon dioxide
kilograms of carbon dioxide per person
A carbon footprint is only a good approximation as there are too many variables and unknowns to enable an exact figure to be calculated
The carbon footprint measures ...
the impact of humans on the environment
shoe size
the exact amount of carbon that a motor vehicle produces throughout its lifetime
the number of trees in a square kilometre of woodland
Reducing your carbon footprint will help the environment
To which environmental issue is the carbon footprint linked?
Acid rain
Background radiation
Climate change
Ozone depletion
It is a measure of the level of greenhouse gases emitted
As a LEDC develops economically ...
its carbon footprint is likely to increase
its carbon footprint is likely to decrease
its carbon footprint will remain unchanged
its carbon footprint will go down slightly for a month then will rise up again
As the LEDC becomes more industrialised and the population has a greater spending power, the carbon footprint will increase
The Kyoto Protocol is ...
a geography book that has been made into a film
a system used to measure carbon footprints
an agreement made by governments to try to reduce their country's carbon footprint
a law about the quantity of greenhouse gases a country is allowed to emit in one year
It was first agreed in 1997 and expired in 2012. A new agreement was made in 2012 but does not involve all of the world's countries
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Environmental challenges

Author:  Kev Woodward

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