Environmental Impacts


GreenHouse Gases & Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Over the past century, human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The majority of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emissions come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy and the manufacture of cement. They include carbon dioxide produced during consumption of solid, liquid, and gas fuels and gas flaring. Deforestation, industrial processes, and some agricultural practices also emit gases including carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide act like a blanket around Earth, trapping energy in the atmosphere and causing it to warm. This phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect and is natural and necessary to support life on Earth. However, the buildup of greenhouse gases can change Earth's climate and result in dangerous effects to human health and welfare and to ecosystems.

Barbados’ CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita) between 2011-2015 is 5.6. This is higher than Jamaica (2.5), Argentina (4.6), and as high as France (5.2) (Data from worldbank.org)
The choices we make today will affect the amount of greenhouse gases we put in the atmosphere in the near future and for years to come.

Global Warming

Global warming refers to the recent and ongoing rise in global average temperature near Earth's surface. It is caused mostly by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It is believed that global warming is permanently changing the Earth's climate. Earth's average temperature has risen by 1.5°F over the past century, and is projected to rise another 0.5 to 8.6°F over the next hundred years. Small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather.

Rising global temperatures have been accompanied by changes in weather and climate. These changes are happening because the Earth's air, water, and land are all linked to the climate. Many places have seen changes in rainfall, resulting in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves. The planet's oceans and glaciers have also experienced some big changes - oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, ice caps are melting, and sea levels are rising.

The Earth's climate has changed before, but this time is different. People are causing these changes, which are bigger and happening faster than any climate changes that modern society has ever seen before.As these and other changes become more pronounced in the coming decades, they will likely present challenges to our society and our environment.

Climate Change

Climate change refers to any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time. In other words, climate change includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns, among other effects, that occur over several decades or longer.

Carbon Footprint

The total amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere each year by a person, family, building, organization, or company. A person's carbon footprint includes greenhouse gas emissions from fuel that he or she burns directly, such as by cooling a home or riding in a car. It also includes greenhouse gases that come from producing the goods or services that the person uses, including emissions from power plants that make electricity, factories that make products, and landfills where trash gets sent.

You can reduce emissions through simple actions like: using renewable energy, such as solar energy; changing to LED light bulbs; powering down electronics when not in use; using less water; recycling your garbage; and, planting a tree or shrub. Using public transportation, carpooling, walking or biking two days a week can also reduce your carbon footprint and keep you healthy too!