Wondering what your footprint could be? Check out this WWF calculator. However, our converter includes all greenhouse gasses (GHG) and not just the direct CO2 emissions (sources are found below). Additionally, check out these fantastic interactive maps to see emissions per capita and per country.
Sea ice is a key component in system Earth – its highly reflective nature keeps the global climate relatively cool. Yet, the polar regions belong to the most rapidly warming regions on Earth: in some parts, temperature rise is four times higher than the global average. This has resulted in the dreadful decline of Arctic sea ice, as recorded by satellites since 1979.
In fact, every ton of emitted CO2 melts the equivalent of 3m2 of sea ice. This means that you, as an average citizen of our beautiful planet, are accountable for the loss of around 30m2 of sea ice per year. However, melting ice is not just a consequence of our emissions – it acts as a major amplifier of global warming!
Here’s why: wherever sea ice disappears, a dark ocean surface emerges. This low-reflective open ocean surface is known to typically absorb 6 times more solar radiation than a surface covered with bright sea ice and snow, which has a much higher reflectivity. In other words, energy from the sun that was once reflected back into space by the ice and snow is now being absorbed into the ocean. This causes a vicious cycle of warming, which amplifies the warming effect of greenhouse gasses by 25 to 40 percent.