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The Vulcan Project

The Vulcan Project aims to quantify North American fossil fuel carbon dioxide 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.

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 (the data is now on Google Earth).

The Vulcan Project has achieved the quantification of the 2002 US fossil fuel CO2 emissions at the scale of individual factories, powerplants, roadways and neighborhoods on an hourly basis. The entire inventory is built 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).

The project is a NASA/DOE funded effort under the North American Carbon Program (NACP)