Skip to main content

Carbon Dioxide

Go Search
New Atlas
Atlas, A-Z
Atlas Maps
MPP/MPA Programs
Core Topics
Illustrative Courses
Topic Encyclopedia
Concept Dictionary
Career Tips
Best Practices Project

PPGPortal > Home > Concept Dictionary > B, C > Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 

A naturally occurring gas and a by-product of burning oil, gas, coal, and biomass and various industrial processes.

(Solomon et al. 2007, 942)


Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a naturally occurring gas and a by-product of burning fossil fuels from fossil carbon deposits (such as oil, gas, and coal), of burning biomass, and of land use changes, and other industrial processes. It is the principal anthropogenic greenhouse gas that affects the Earth’s radiative balance. It is the reference gas against which other greenhouse gases are measured and therefore has a Global Warming Potential of 1.


Solomon, Susan, Dahe Quin, Martin Manning, Melinda Marquis, Kristen Averyt, Melinda M.B. Tignor, Henry LeRoy Miller Jr., Zhenlin Chen, eds. 2007. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance