Purdue University press release: - A new, high- resolution interactive map of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels has found that the emissions aren't all where we thought.
"For example, we've been attributing too many emissions to the northeastern United States, and it's looking like the southeastern U.S. is a much larger source than we had estimated previously.
"When you compare the old inventories to Vulcan, the new data show atmospheric CO2 differences that are as large as five parts per million in some U.S. regions in the late winter. The levels in the global atmosphere only rise one and a half part per million every year, so this is the equivalent of three years of global emissions in the atmosphere that isn't where we thought it was. This will be important for policy-makers and is enormous from a scientific point of view. It's shocking."
-- Kevin Gurney, Project leader and assistant professor of earth and atmospheric science at Purdue University.
The maps and system, called Vulcan, show CO2 emissions at more than 100 times more detail than was available before. Until now, data on carbon dioxide emissions were reported, in the best cases, monthly at the level of an entire state. The Vulcan model examines CO2 emissions at local levels on an hourly basis.
It is claimed that carbon dioxide is the most important human-produced gas contributing to global climate change. The United States accounts for about 25 percent of global CO2 emissions.
Researchers say the maps also are more accurate than previous data because they are based on greenhouse gas emissions instead of estimates based on population in areas of the United States.
A preliminary analysis of the Vulcan data suggests that previous maps of U.S. fossil fuel emissions were inadequate for current scientific and policy-making needs, Gurney says.
The map above shows where CO2 is being emitted in the continental United States in 10-kilometer grids and combines data from sources including factories, automobiles on highways and power plants. The map offers more than 100 times the detail of previous inventories of carbon dioxide. The image displays metric tons of carbon per year per grid in a logarithmic base-10 scale. (Purdue University image/Kevin Gurney)
To create the Vulcan maps, the research team developed a method to extract the CO2 information by transforming data on local air pollution, such as carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide emissions, which are tracked by the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy and other governmental agencies.
"The high-resolution map from Vulcan also provides a picture of emission sources in a way that the public and policy-makers can understand, which may be helpful in discussing what we will do about the climate problem,"
-- James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies"
The three-year Vulcon Project, funded by NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy under the North American Carbon Program, involved researchers from Purdue University, Colorado State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with the goal of quantifing North American fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions at space and time scales much finer than has been achieved in the past. The purpose is to aid in quantification of the North American carbon budget and to support inverse estimation of carbon sources and sinks. . . . more here and here
I am a little late in publishing this, but I thought it was important enough to publish now, so that it could be read by those that hadn't seen it and it belongs in my archives. I believe in climate change and the fact that CO2 contributes to it, I am just not sure how much of climate change is caused by CO2. It is interesting to me that the two areas that I have lived, in Southeastern Wisconsin and Southeastern New Hampshire are both in areas of very high CO2 emissions.