What is Oil and Gas Awareness

Carbon dioxide: how is it made? What does it do?

27.06.2019

Hardly any other topic currently affects people as much as climate change. Always there as the epitome of global warming: carbon dioxide. There are numerous superlatives about the greenhouse gas with the well-known empirical formula CO2, from the "climate killer" to the "scapegoat". But what exactly is so bad about CO2 emissions? How do these arise? And what role does the cruise industry play in this?

What is CO2 and what does it do?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas that is used for the natural greenhouse effect the earth is responsible. The sun's rays ensure that the earth heats up, but this heat would escape directly into space without a buffer. Greenhouse gases such as CO2 absorb the heat and reflect it back onto the surface so that it is retained.

Carbon dioxide does not only serve as a source of warmth, but also as a source of food for the plant world. The fauna absorbs CO2 and uses photosynthesis to build oxygen from it. The gas is therefore not only a natural component of the atmosphere, but also important for all life on this planet.

How is CO2 created?

In many discussions, the creation of CO2 is primarily attributed to humans. The fact is that carbon dioxide occurs naturally in the earth's atmosphere because it is a by-product of the respiration of living things. We breathe oxygen, our body emits carbon dioxide. This applies to both humans and animals.

However, this only makes up a small part of the carbon cycle, because the large amount of CO2 in the atmosphere does not come about through our breathing alone. Namely, carbon dioxide is added released by burning resourcesthat contain carbon themselves.

These include, for example, wood, oil or coal, i.e. resources that we use for industry, for energy generation and motor transport - for example for traveling by plane or cruise ship.

Invisible pollutants: flights cause some of the highest levels of CO2 emissions

Then why is CO2 bad?

Not carbon dioxide per se, but the amount of gas in the earth's atmosphere is harmful to our climate. Too much CO2 in the air causes the earth to heat up significantly more than is good for it. Due to the deforestation of the rainforests as well as the destruction natural growth spaces for plants, these are also no longer able to absorb the large amount of CO2.

The consequences are higher temperatures, melting polar caps and the resulting rise in sea levels. According to the Federal Environment Agency, the long-term temperature increase in summer is + 1.5 ° Celsius. In some regions, the hot climate means that drinking water is scarce and that food production is dwindling. Habitats for animals and plants continue to decrease. A vicious circle arises.

Incidentally, carbon dioxide is not the only factor in climate change. There are other greenhouse gases that also contribute to global warming. The increasing activity of the sun also affects it. Scientists, however, estimate their share in relation to the amount of CO2 to be low.

What do cruises have to do with CO2 emissions?

The cruise industry has long been spared from stricter environmental regulations. Clean passenger ships and alternative propulsion technologies are therefore not yet the norm. Numerous cruise ships are still on board today Heavy fuel oil, a by-product of petroleum refining. In addition to sulfur oxides, fine dust and nitrogen oxides, heavy oil also causes carbon dioxide emissions that are far above the limit values ​​set, for example, by road traffic.

However, environmental pollution while sailing on the high seas is not the only problem. Not all ports can supply the ships with shore power when the ship is berthed; sometimes the shipping companies do not even use this for cost reasons. Instead, the ship itself provides the energy it needs - and thus creates additional loads in the ports.

Numerous ships still run on heavy fuel oil

What can I do to reduce CO2?

First of all: you don't have to breathe less or influence the sun. There are enough other ways in which you can save CO2 in everyday life. As reported by the NRZ, according to a study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Transport, cars still account for 60% of traffic. If you cover short distances on foot or by bike or switch to public transport for longer distances, you are already saving CO2.

In addition, numerous providers offer so-called Energy checks for the house or your own apartment, for example in order to heat less through targeted thermal insulation. This not only protects the environment, but also your wallet. If you do without the standby mode for devices such as televisions, computers and game consoles, you save electricity, which is also noticeable in your personal environmental balance.

Travel climate-neutral thanks to CO2 compensation

Of course, it would be best for the environment if you stopped traveling completely. But would a life without a vacation really be worth living? If you don't want to miss out on cruise and air travel, you have the option of CO2 compensation at. Here you determine how much carbon dioxide your trip causes and donate a corresponding amount, which is invested in projects to reduce CO2.

If you book your cruise via Meravando, it's even easier: We take care of the CO2 compensation for you. Without additional costs. We calculate the amount that we donate for you individually using a formula from our cooperation partner myclimate. However, this only applies to the cruise. If you are arriving or departing by plane, you can use a special compensation calculator from myclimate to determine what pollutants your flight is causing and what contribution you can make yourself to compensate for this.

We invest the compensation contributions together with myclimate Energy efficient cooker project in Kenya. This reduces the demand for firewood and thereby protects the local forests. More forests not only mean fewer CO emissions from firewood, but also more plants that can absorb CO2 and convert it to oxygen.

And this project also benefits the local people. They build the stoves themselves, which creates jobs and secures income. In addition, the energy-efficient stoves replace traditional fireplaces, which could be harmful to health due to smoke development. Here you can find out more about the climate project to support savings groups.

Make your contribution now

Carbon dioxide is a natural greenhouse gas that fulfills an important function in the earth's cycle. However, the development of humans since the industrial revolution has ensured that there is simply too much CO2 in the earth's atmosphere and that the climate is changing significantly due to global warming.

However, society's awareness of pollutant emissions and climate protection is changing. The travel industry and especially cruise operators are affected by this. With the tips above, you too can make a small contribution to a better climate and, thanks to CO2 compensation, start your next cruise adventure in a more climate-conscious manner and at no extra cost with Meravando.

Energy-efficient cooking thanks to Meravando. Every booking goes to a climate project in Kenya.

You might also be interested in these articles