Carbon Footprint

Today it is important for people to become familiar with the idea of an Ecological or Carbon Footprint. This is a method used by businesses, governments as well as educational institutions to measure the biological sustainability of the earth based on the activities of people and their growing populations. In 2016, the WPI Carbon Footprint team will begin an in-depth analysis of the Acadia National Park’s greenhouse gas emissions. The WPI team will also develop a strategy to reduce the carbon footprint by incorporating innovative technological developments, better process and product management, carbon capture, consumption strategies, carbon offsetting, behavioral changes, and others.

Island explorerSmall changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather. These rising global temperatures have been accompanied by changes in weather and 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. As these and other changes become more pronounced in the coming decades, they will likely present challenges to our society and our environment.

Park Ranger

Within the next century, Maine’s temperature is expected to increase 4°F, with the greatest temperature increases occurring in the winter and summer. Annual precipitation is also expected to increase, especially in the winter, although more of this precipitation will be in the form of severe storms. Because of its coastal location, the Acadia National Park will also be greatly affected by the sea level rise that will occur as a result of climate change.

As part of President Obama’s Executive Order 13514, which calls on Federal agencies and departments to lead by example in increasing sustainability and energy-efficiency across the Federal Government, agencies are required to report and reduce greenhouse gas pollution to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets. GHG emissions serve as a useful metric to measure the effectiveness of agency energy and fuel efficiency efforts as well as renewable energy investments.