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IEEE Spectrum Launches Online Calculator That Determines Carbon Footprint

5 August IEEE Spectrum magazine has developed an online calculator that enables users to estimate household carbon emissions based on the answers to a series of questions involving home energy use and travel.   Like similar calculators, while it has some obvious limits, it also has some distinguishing features, notably international scope.

The IEEE Spectrum calculator takes into account how fuel quality, energy technology, and carbon intensity vary from country to country, providing a more accurate overall reading.  For example, if you happen to be a Pole getting your electricity from plants fueled by lignite, or a Brazilian driving a flex-fuel vehicle that relies heavily on cane ethanol, there are specific tools that will take into account these specific kinds of emissions:

One tool provides a carbon coefficient, or estimate, specifically for lignite, which provides an estimate of the amount of carbon associated with a given amount of electricity used, were that electricity generated with lignite;

Another tool enables those driving flex-fuel vehicles in Brazil, where they are widely used, to estimate carbon emissions based on the proportion of gasoline vs. cane ethanol that users are pumping into the family car or cars.

The IEEE Spectrum calculator is a quick, easy way to calculate a household’s footprint based on the following five categories: electricity consumption; electricity sources; home heating and cooling sources; automotive usage; and annual air travel. 

Try the IEEE Spectrum carbon footprint calculator.


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