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Science
HOME PLANET
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PROGRAMME INFO
Tuesday 15:00-15:30
Richard Daniel chairs the interactive environmental programme in which he and his guests deal with listener's questions and concerns.
Call 03700 100 400
home.planet@bbc.co.uk
Home Planet, PO Box 3096, Brighton BN1 1PL
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 8 March
PRESENTER
RICHARD DANIEL
Richard Daniel
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 8 March 2005
Earth ©NASA

Panel

Dr Ros Taylor
Principal Lecturer in Earth Science and Geography, Kingston University
Derek Moore OBE
Conservationist
Wild Life Trusts

Professor Philip Stott
Bio-geographer, University of London

TOPICS

The Kariba Dam
World Commission on Dams
Virtual Zambia

Buzzards
What lies behind the recent rise in numbers?
British Trust for Ornithology - Bird Trends 2004 RSPB

What does a tonne of C02 look like?
Visualizing measures of weight (eg in kg) as volumes (eg in L) is often difficult, although we can use vernacular images such as a "sack of potatoes" or a "sack of coal." It is even more difficult when we are thinking of a gas, such as carbon dioxide, not in its solid or liquid state.

22.4L of any ideal gas at standard temperature and pressure (STP) contains Avogadro's number of 6.022 x 10^23 molecules. The quantity of anything that has the same number of particles is called a mole (mol). But the weight of the gas will vary in proportion to the sum of the atomic weights that comprise the molecules of the gas.

Therefore:
1 mol of carbon dioxide @ STP = 22.4 L (ie volume)
1 mol of carbon dioxide = 44.0098 g (ie weight)
1 kg of carbon dioxide = 22.73 mol
Thus, the volume of 1 kg of carbon dioxide will be:
22.4 L/mol x 22.73 mol = 509 L

But what would this look like?

A standard wine bottle is 0.75 L
Thus: 1 kg of carbon dioxide = 679 bottles of wine
1 t of carbon dioxide = 679,000 bottles, or 56,583 cases. Some party!

In stark contrast, 1 kg of solid carbon dioxide ("dry ice") at a density of 1.56 g/cm^3 and at minus 79º Celsius = a tiny block about 8.6 cm on each edge.

What is the difference between a ton and a tonne?

(i) "Tonne" (t) is a metric measure of weight in the Metric System of Measurements. It is equal to 1,000 kg or 1,000,000 g;
(ii) "Ton" (tn or T) comes in two different measures of weight, namely the "long ton" and the "short ton". The "long ton" is the old UK Imperial measure of 2,240 lb = 1.016 t. The "short ton" is used in the US and Canada and is a measure of 2,000 lb = 0.907 t. However, the "long ton" is employed in the US for the displacement of ships.

Carbon dioxide emissions from animals
The panel discussed the impact of carbon dioxide from animals and explained how, as they were part of the so-called "closed loop" they had less impact than emissions from cars.
The carbon cycle described by the UK Met Office
The Royal Society of Chemistry provide teacher's notes
Wildlife & Wetland Trust
International Council for Science BBC bitesize GCSE revision

Culling of kangaroos
Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage
Department of Environment and Conservation in New South Wales

Contact Home Planet

Send your comments and questions for future programmes to:

Home Planet
BBC Radio 4
PO Box 3096
Brighton BN1 1PL

Or email the programme: home.planet@bbc.co.uk

Or telephone the Audience Line 03700 100 400

Home Planet is a Pier Production for BBC Radio 4 and is produced by Nick Patrick.

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