Causing Rapid Climate Change Worksheet

Causing Rapid Climate Change Worksheet

The major component of any fossil fuel is
carbon. It forms seventy-five percent of methane, the major component of
high-grade natural gas. Carbon forms eighty-four percent of octane, which
typifies most gasolines, and it forms eighty percent of good anthracite coal.
Now here’s the catch. Since each carbon
atom joins with two heavier oxygen atoms, CO2 molecules are much
heavier than the carbon in fuels. Each pound of fuel yields almost three pounds
of CO2. That takes some digesting. Our first reaction is, “It’s
only a gas; it surely can’t amount to much.” But each gallon of gasoline
produces twenty pounds of carbon dioxide.
Our consumption of fossil fuels has now
caused the CO2 content of Earth’s air to be higher than it would normally
be. It’s certainly impacting our climates. How much is subject to a pretty
fierce debate, but global temperatures are definitely on the rise. While better
analysts than I try to determine exactly what part of the rise comes from CO2
greenhouse effects, we’d be crazy not to look for ways of reducing the CO2
in our air.

Your CO2 “footprint” is
basically a measurement of how much carbon dioxide is emitted into the
atmosphere as a result of your individual actions. Transportation choices are
just one component of a CO2 footprint – but can often be the most
significant. How big is yourtransportation footprint? And how
does it compare with that of your classmates? Through this activity you will
calculate your transportation CO2footprint for one trip
remembering that as a rough estimate, the burning of one gallon of gasoline produces
about 20lbs of CO2.

How to Calculate
Your Car’s Miles Per Gallon (MPG) Yield
must use this method and not just guess a value or use the value that the
manufacture or a web site gives. We want
to see what you car is actually getting with your driving.

1. Fill up your car’s gas
tank all the way (till the pump clicks off).
Before you leave the gas station write down the odometer mileage shown
in your vehicle.
2. Record the odometer
mileage reading for your car on the worksheet.
3. Drive your car as you
normally would, and let your gas tank deplete to at least a half of a tank.
(The lower you let your tank go, the better average rating you will get, but
don’t run out of gas!)
4. Get to the gas station
and fill your tank again (once more wait for the pump to click off).
5. Get a receipt, as this
will show the amount of gas in gallons that you pumped. Note the mileage on your odometer.
6. Record the amount of gas
it took to refill the tank on the worksheet.
7. Record the new odometer
mileage on the worksheet.
8. Calculate the miles
traveled by subtracting the first odometer reading from the second reading.
9. Divide the miles traveled
by the amount of gallons it took to refill the tank. The result will be your
car’s average Miles Per Gallon yield for that driving period.
10. Calculate the information
required and post your results to the Q&A forum on the class web site by Friday.
11. Complete the work sheet
and upload this document by the assignment due date.

that the syllabus includes a vehicle to use so that you may complete the
worksheet assignments such as this one.
If you do not have your own car then arrange to collect the data from
one of your acquaintances or family members who do have a vehicle.

You must post your values
for table rows A, B, G and Question 4 to the Q&A from by noon on Friday.

A. Make and model of vehicle

B. Year of vehicle

C. Starting Odometer Reading

D. Ending Odometer Reading

E. Miles Driven (show your math)

F. Gallons of Gas Pumped
(Gas fill up 2)

G. Miles per gallon (show your math)

To driveto theAcademy Sports
Outdoors store at 1689 Eisenhower Pkwy, Macon, GAfrom
GMC in Milledgeville GA is how many miles?
Use an Internet site such as Google maps or Yahoo maps to find this out.

How many gallons of Gas will the trip to Academy and back to
Milledgeville use? Show your math

How much carbon dioxide will the total trip produce? Show your math calculations.

Post the following information to the Q&A forum on the class web
site by Friday:
Vehicle make, Vehicle Year, Vehicle
Type (SUV, Truck, Sedan, etc.), MPG, and CO2 Produced on
Macon trip

Causing Rapid Climate Change Worksheet – Discussion Questions

1. Use the Q&A forum to gather data
from 3 other students in the class.

Students name


1. Vehicle

2. Vehicle

3. Vehicle
Type (SUV, Truck, Sedan etc)

4. MPG

5. CO2
Produced on Macon trip

Does the make of the vehicle have any
effect on its environmental friendliness?

Does the age of the vehicle have any effect
on its environmental friendliness?

Does the vehicle type have any effect on
its environmental friendliness? Explain.

For your group of students what was the
worst vehicle in terms of MPG and CO2 production?

10. For
your group of students what was the best vehicle in terms of MPG and CO2

11. The
average US driver, according to ABC news, commutes 32 mile each day. If they make this commute 5 days a week to
find the total mileage driven by the average driver per week. (show your math work)

12. Calculate
the gas used by the average driver if they were driving your car and getting
the MPG you calculated for this worksheet.
(show your math work)

13. Calculate
the amount of CO2 produced by the average driver each week. This will be the average driver’s weekly
transportation carbon footprint. (show
your math work)

14. What
are some of the ways that you could reduce this average carbon footprint?

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