Glossary of units and terms

MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions
BTU
British Thermal Unit is a unit of heat required to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. One BTU equals 0.000293071 kWh.
Carbon dioxide
A colorless and odorless gas that is a natural component of the atmosphere which is a product of animal, plant, and bacterial respiration, and results from combustion of fossil fuels like gasoline, coal, and natural gas.
Carbon-neutral
Limiting climate change by reducing emissions from fossil fuels to the point where the amount of carbon dioxide produced from emissions is equal to or less than the amount captured by plants and photosynthetic microorganisms.
Celsius
A unit of temperature used by scientists that is based on a scale where water freezes at 0 and boils at 100. One degree Celsius equals 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fahrenheit
A unit of temperature used primarily in the US that is based on a scale where water freezes at 32 and boils at 212. One degree Fahrenheit equals 59 degree Celsius.
Greenhouse effect
A process that warms the environment by solar heat capture such as warming of the Earth's surface by capture of the sun's energy by the atmosphere.
kWh
Kilowatt-hour is an unit of energy based on power in kilowatts multiplied by hours. One kWh equals 3412.14 times 1 BTU.
ppm
Parts per million is a fraction representing a dilute concentration, the number of parts out of a million, or one-ten thousands of one per cent.