CO2 Emissions = Population x (GDP/Population) x (Energy/GDP) x (CO2 /Energy)
The “greenhouse effect” is the natural capacity of our atmosphere to reflect and absorb heat. The mix of gases, especially the concentration of carbon dioxide (as well as other gases such as methane and even water vapor), affects the amount of heat that will be released back to space or reflected back to the ground. Higher CO2 levels have been associated with higher planetary temperatures. Higher temperatures alter seasonal patterns, including rainfall, which then affect human resources and ecosystem services. The climate of the planet is driven by this heat flow; climate, then, is the most important factor to which we, our agriculture and other life are adapted. This formula was developed to show how our total CO2 emissions are the product of our living standard (GDP/Population), which in turn is created through the amount of energy we each consume to support that lifestyle (Energy/GDP) and the CO2-creation efficiency of our energy sources (CO2/Energy).