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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Vulcan Project Quantifies North American Fossil Fuel CO2 Emissions

The Vulcan Project is a NASA/DOE funded effort under the North American Carbon Program (NACP)to quantify North American fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) 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, to support inverse estimation of carbon sources and sinks, and to support the demands posed by the launch of the Orbital Carbon Observatory (OCO)scheduled for 2008/2009. The detail and scope of the Vulcan CO2 inventory has also made it a valuable tool for policymakers, demographers and social scientists.

The Vulcan Project has achieved the quantification of the United States fossil fuel CO2 emissions at the scale of individual factories, powerplants, roadways and neighborhoods. We have built the entire inventory on a common 10 km grid to facilitate atmospheric modeling. Vulcan is available at the hourly timescale for the year 2002. In addition to improvement in space and time resolution, Vulcan is quantified at the level of fuel type, economic sub-sector, and county/state identification.

Work is underway to complete similar inventories for Canada and Mexico, to include CO and NOx emissions, and incorporate biotic-based fuels.

Vulcan was led by an excellent team of researchers at Purdue University. Key collaborators on the project included investigators at Colorado State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Explore the Vulcan website for the Vulcan gridded data, methodological details, publications, and analysis. A major new initiative, launched from the Vulcan experience is currently being built - the Hestia Project - in which we plan to quantify greenhouse gas emissions for the entire planet at the building scale with complete driving processes.