Monday, April 7, 2008

I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll show you the CO2 map for the US

I saw this article about the Vulcan system on the ScienceDaily news feed and thought I might share it. Normally, I don't listen to a lot of the "general news" about climate stuff coming out. I know I am better off reading the journal papers directly to remove the "Oh My We're All Gonna Die" sensationalism. But, this headline caught my eye and after reading the article, I am impressed with the article summary and the project.
Actually it wasn't so much the headline that caught my eye as it was the first line of the article- "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." That did catch my eye. I wondered what could be so different from what I already know about the sources of CO2 (point sources like power plants, moving things like cars, weathering of limestone, etc). This map didn't change my mind as to where I expected the most CO2 (population centers), but it was really cool to see where the CO2 blows off (and up) and the changes observed in low CO2 areas. I also have to admit, I hadn't thought about the diurnal nature of CO2 emissions, but it makes complete sense. Now for the stipulations... This map does not seem to be made from measured CO2 concetrations in the atmosphere, but from other gases monitored by the EPA; CO2 is then modeled from that data (please correct me if I misinterpreted their PPT slides). On a map this size (with this much data) there are probably errors, but I doubt they affect the major trends we see. Also be aware this data is from 2002 (How much more damage have we done since?). Older data isn't bad, it's just nice to know all the facts. Check out the animation if you're short on time.


Anonymous said...

Don't stop posting such stories. I like to read articles like that. By the way add some pics :)

Anonymous said...

Cool article as for me. I'd like to read something more about that matter. Thnx for posting this information.
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