Thursday, April 10

The pulse of warming

Here is a pretty cool, interactive presentation on the sources of CO2 emissions put together by scientists at Purdue University. It uses an atmospheric modeling program developed at Colorado State University, and gives us a groundbreaking, hour-by-hour look at where CO2 is coming from in the country. The project leader, Kevin Gurney, has described the images as "the industrial metabolism of the United States."

From a Purdue press release:
"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," says Kevin Gurney, an assistant professor of earth and atmospheric science at Purdue University and leader of the project.

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.

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.

In Colorado, we can watch the emissions build up along the Front Range each day, but at least we're not red-lining like most of the eastern half of the country.

(h/t to James Bruggers via the Society of Environmental Journalists)

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