Dr Erik Meuleman is currently working for a small startup company that is based in Boulder Colorado. They employ 23 people and are currently working on a Carbon capture project in Norway, a country that is world renowned for created new and better reusable energy sources that will make the planet healthier and survive longer. Dr Meuleman has been working in this field for several decades now and always for the government. He will now be continuing his work from the private sector. He believes that the work he is doing with this company is going to make a big difference in Carbon emissions projects around the world.
Countries around the world have been polluting our atmosphere for decades but not many knew what greenhouse gasses were actually doing once they were emitted. These greenhouse gasses are being trapped in troposphere. This is the first layer of the atmosphere it extends 10 – 15km above the earth’s surface. It contains water vapor and Carbon Dioxide, the CO2 keep rises which creates a bigger cloud in the troposphere. Which is created the “greenhouse effect”. The “greenhouse effect” is the sun’s radiation being stopped by the water vapor and CO2 being reflected back to the earth’s surface instead of leaving our atmosphere.
Imagine that you are playing tennis and every ball that you hit another one is added. Every ball that you hit goes over the net but slowly over time a brick wall gets built behind the net and some balls come bouncing back. The more bricks that become part of the wall the more likely it is for for ball to come bouncing back at you.
It is widely believed that the majority of our CO2 emissions come from transportation and electricity and heat. This is true these two section make up a lot of our Carbon emissions but they are not to only big sectors that emit lots of Carbon Dioxide. The agricultural industry emits almost as much as the electricity and heat sector. This may come as a surprise because it is widely known that trees convert CO2 to O2 which we are capable of breathing. But livestock have to there daily judies and those are affecting global warming. Especially cows when they release on average 100 kg their bodily gases each year. These gases contain Methane a greenhouse gas similar to Carbon Dioxide. But the effects that it has on the atmosphere is 23 times worse. So releasing 100 kg of Methane is like releasing 2,300 kg of Carbon Dioxide. This value might mean nothing to you so let’s put it into other terms. 2,300kg of carbon dioxide is a 1,000 liters of petrol so with a car that drive 8 liters per 100km it could drive 12,500 km. The US food industry contributes nearly 20% of the carbon dioxide of the nation’s carbon footprint.
Every nation has a different Carbon footprint some are bigger than others this could be because of their population or they are just not carbon friendly. China and the United States emit the most carbon dioxide by a big margin. China is releasing nearly 8000 tonnes of carbon per year and the United states is releasing 5000 tonnes of carbon per year. The country that emits the third most is india but they only release 1500 tonnes of carbon. The gap between second and third is way too big. The country’s GDP could have something to do with the amount of carbon they are releasing. China has a massive exportation market which is the big reason why their Carbon footprint is so high. America on the other high uses the car way too much taking it for little trips is carbon that doesn’t need to be emitted. There are countries that are working hard to become carbon neutral. This means is that all the carbon you emit into the air you can convert back to a better substance in most cases it will be O2. A country that is working hard is Denmark they are almost capable to live of the power they get from the wind turbines in the North sea.
A colleague of Dr Meuleman was in town from Denmark and was available to be asked a couple of questions about how Svalbard an island north of Norway near the arctic circle. Which has been affected by the results of climate change over the last few years. She told me that the glaciers have not been regrowing to their previous size and that part of the island has not been freezing which hinders residents from using their snowmobiles to get to hunting cabins or a quicker route to town. She also said that the Polar bears have been leaving their natural habitat in search for food. They have been seen eating the rubbish which surrounds the coast line. The polar bears are getting skinnier and when they have more than 3 young not all will survive the winter.