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We have two related tags that I feel overlap largely but IMHO are distinct enough to keep them as separate tags; and . Assuming other people agree the tags are not synonyms, my suggestion is to make it more clear when to use each tag by improving the tag usage guidance description for both tags (the excerpt that appears if you hover on the tag on the main site).

Currently the tag description for is "a measure of the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced directly and indirectly by a person, an organisation, an event or a product."

doesn't have a tag wiki yet.

Any suggestions? For what kind of questions should people use the carbon-footprint tag and for what questions the greenhouse-gas-emissions tag?

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This is a hard thing to categorise. The topics intersect somewhat and the tags are currently used interchangeably.

It might be worth renaming to just (or ?), and have it be a tag that categorises questions about gases but not necessarily about emissions, like the following:

That way, questions about the emission of GHGs could fall under . A 'carbon footprint' is a measurement of emissions that boils them down to a single number (CO2 equivalent). It's meant to be an 'at-a-glance' indicator of how high (or low) an impact a particular individual, business, event or product has on the environment. As such, the sorts of questions tagged would be:


The excerpts for both tags could then look like:

a measure of greenhouse gas emissions produced directly and indirectly by a person, an organisation, an event or a product. Questions about measurements, data, emissions or emission sources should use this tag. Use [greenhouse-gases] if your question is about a particular gas. Use the [global-warming] tag for questions about the effects.

Gasses that contribute to global warming by trapping radiant heat from the sun in the atmosphere. Use this tag for questions about certain gases and their effects. Use [carbon-footprint] for questions about measuring emissions from a person, organisation, event or product. Consider [global-warming] for questions about the effects.

What do you think?

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  • This is a difficult one to untangle but I think you're on the right track. Another possible name for greenhouse-gas would be greenhouse-effect, as long as we're careful that questions are more relevant here than on Earth Science.SE or Physics.SE. It's also worth noting that not all greenhouses gases are carbon-based. Nitrous oxide is one example. Your tag excerpts seem to cover that well enough.
    – Nic Mod
    Feb 28 '20 at 14:39
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    I like this proposal! I noticed we also have a co2 tag, but as with greenhouse-gases we could keep it for questions specific about carbon dioxide not related to a footprint. If this post gets a few more upvotes I will rename the greenhouse-gas-emissions tag. @Nic Personally I'm not in favor of renaming to greenhouse-effect primarily because we already have a global-warming tag and a climate-change tag
    – THelper Mod
    Feb 28 '20 at 17:21
  • @THelper We also have a straight emissions tag, which should probably be merged with [carbon-footprint] if we're going with the above suggestion :)
    – Robotnik
    Feb 29 '20 at 14:09
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    @Robotnik good point. Looking at the 2 questions with this tag we could also replace it with co2 for this question and air-pollution for the other question?
    – THelper Mod
    Feb 29 '20 at 14:58
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    Yeah makes sense to me 😊
    – Robotnik
    Mar 1 '20 at 0:04
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For , riffing on the description for , how about this:

For questions about direct greenhouse gas emissions produced by a product, process, or facility (such as a factory or power plant).

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  • 1
    Interesting definition, but I'm not sure I agree with the 'A measure of' part. I see greenhouse-gas-emissions more as a concept; all emitted gases that contribute to climate change.
    – THelper Mod
    Dec 28 '19 at 9:59
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    So perhaps that's the main difference here; the carbon-footprint tag is primarily for questions related to measuring or quantifying GHG emissions, and greenhouse-gas-emissions tag is for other, more-general questions about GHG emissions (that do not involve measuring or quantifying impact).
    – THelper Mod
    Dec 28 '19 at 12:40
  • @THelper that makes sense -- I edited with that feedback.
    – LShaver Mod
    Jan 2 '20 at 14:27

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