NASA releases a new map of America showing local carbon emissions; Texas leads

"If They Can Make CO2 Fly, Oxygen Is Next !Just how stupid are we ?"

"Consider the top three counties," says Kevin Gurney, referring to Harris, Texas, Los Angeles, California, and Cook County, Illinois. "Around Houston, it's industrial emissions that pushes them to the top of the list. In Los Angeles, it's cars. In Chicago, it's residential and commercial heating—because the temperatures are cold and the houses and buildings are old."

The Vulcan Project maps American carbon dioxide emissions. The map shows annual emissions in 2002 (kilotons of carbon) from urban centers (larger red patches), widely scattered point sources like remote power stations or smelters (small red dots), and highways. (Map by Jesse Allen, based on data from the Vulcan Project.)
For the first time, one can have a whole view of America's carbon output: region by region, city by city. The Vulcan Project has undertaken a holistic inventory—including electricity, heat, transportation, and industry—of local carbon emissions across the nation to create the first carbon map of America. Texas leads the fifty states, and the county of Harris, Texas (encompassing Houston) records the nation's largest emissions by county. Although Texas is second in population after California, its massive industry puts it over the top.

The Vulcan Project, named after the Roman god of fire, found that different areas have different reasons for being at the top of the list.

He's Just a Redheaded Kid in College Most of His Young Life .
Dr. Kevin Gurney Assistant Professor
Associated Website(s): Carbon Group, Purdue Climate Change Research Center (PCCRC)

Ph..D. 2004 - Ecology, Colorado State University
M.P.P 1996 - University of California, Berkeley
S.M. 1990 - Massachussetts Institute of Technology
B.A. 1986 - University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests

I am interested in quantification and mechanistic exploration of the global carbon cycle with emphasis on exchanges of CO2 with the terrestrial biosphere and the fossil fuel sources of CO2 to the atmosphere. The future evolution of the global carbon cycle and how the terrestrial biosphere and fossil fuel emissions respond to a warming world are fundamental to climate change research and require delving into the physical and human aspects of the carbon/climate nexus. In addition to my science research, I have also continued work in the area of climate change policy through research on those aspects of the Kyoto Protocol that relate to the carbon cycle with particular emphasis on carbon sequestration and deforestation.
NASA CARBON/04-0325-0167: PI, US $746,260 (3 years), “High-resolution fossil fuel emission estimates in support of NACP CO2 measurement and assimilation systems”

Showalter Trust award in support of the Hestia Project, PI, “Etna” pilot, US $74,591

Knauf Insulation , Inc gift in support of the Hestia Project, PI, “Etna” pilot, US $75,000

DOE: PI, US $373,388 (3 years), “Exploration of the mechanistic relationship between improved regional North American inverse carbon fluxes and climate variability/trends”

NASA, co-PI, US $20,551 (1 year), “Resolving net CO2 exchange in the mid-continent region of North America by comparing and reconciling results from inverse modeling and inventory-based approaches”

DOE: PI, US 332,593 (3 years), “Impacts of high resolution extreme events on US energy demand and CO2 emissions in the 21st century” with Purdue PI Noah Diffenbaugh