Ecological Footprint

FOOTPRINT

Ecological footprint can be described as the activities of humans that contribute to the consumption of a full year’s allotment of natural resources such as water, food and clean air. Human activities emit more greenhouse gases than Earth can absorb, and deplete more natural resources than Earth can replenish. Knowing this, ecological overshoot can be described as over-budget consumption and emission of allotted biosphere supply and regenerative capacity; overshoot can occur on global or local scale.

Carbon footprint makes up for 60% of humanity’s overall ecological footprint. Carbon footprint is the carbon emitted by human activities and production. Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that contributes to an increased atmospheric temperature leading to catastrophic levels of climate change. The effects of humanity’s carbon footprint are an example of the law of unintended consequences- by altering one component of a complex system we have affected other parts of the system.

Electricity generation is one human activity that puts strain on the environment, particularly fossil-fuel fired electric power plants. Fossil fuels are nonrenewable resources, meaning they cannot be replenished once depleted. In addition, the burning of fossil-fuels emits carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other greenhouse gases. Increased greenhouse gases concentrations in the atmosphere has led to an increased global temperature, which is destroying animal populations and changing local ecosystems.

As societal electric power demand increases, we must develop technologies that reduce or eliminate dependency on fossil fuels. One way in which are currently developing technology to resolve this dependency is the integration of perovskite crystals in photovoltaic cell panels. The potential outcome would be a hybrid-sort of solar panel with increased efficiency and reduced cost. Such panels would be able to generate electricity without relying on the burning of fossil-fuels, which would then reduce carbon emissions.

Works Cited:
  • By measuring the Footprint of a population—an individual, city, business, nation, or all of humanity—we can assess our pressure on the planet, which helps us manage our ecological assets more wisely and take personal and collective action in support of a world where humanity lives within the Earth’s bounds. (n.d.). Footprint Basics. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/footprint_basics_overview/
    
    Perovskite solar cells surpass 20 percent efficiency. (n.d.). Retrieved October 31, 2016, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160609151207.htm

 

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