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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 higher resolution CO2 observations (in situ and remotely sensed). The detail and scope of the Vulcan CO2 inventory has also made it a valuable tool for policymakers, demographers, social scientists and the public at large (now on Google Earth!).
The Vulcan project has achieved the quantification of the 2002 U.S. fossil fuel CO2 emissions at the scale of individual factories, powerplants, roadways and neighborhoods on an hourly basis. We have built the entire inventory on a common 10 km x 10 km grid to facilitate atmospheric modeling. 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, quantification of all years from 1980 to the present, and incorporate biotic-based fuels (including ethanol!).
Vulcan is led by Dr. Kevin Gurney and a team of researchers at Purdue University. Key collaborators on the project include investigators at Colorado State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Explore the Vulcan website for the Vulcan gridded data, methodological details, publications, plots 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. This work is supported by Purdue’s Showalter Trust and Knauf Insulation.