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Images of CO2 emissions and transport from the Vulcan project

Project Vulcan, Arizona State University School of Life Sciences

In this visualization students can explore North American fossil fuel CO2 emissions at very fine space and time scales. The data is provided by the Vulcan emissions data project, a NASA/DOE funded effort under the North American Carbon Program (NACP).

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases / Carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 2
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Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
About Teaching Principle 6
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Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
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Energy affects quality of life .
Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors.
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4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
Human demand for energy is increasing.
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6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.
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Human use of energy.
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
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2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.
Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
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Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow .

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future, primarily due to changes in the amount of light reaching places on the earth and the composition of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels in the last century has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has contributed to Earth's warming.
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By burning fuels, people are releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and transforming chemical energy into thermal energy which spreads throughout the environment.
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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • The images would work well with any climate or carbon cycle unit or lesson.
  • The first five images are the most useful and are good resources for initiating discussions about variable sources of CO2 emissions. Educator may find the other images confusing and needlessly political.
  • These maps would be useful in discussing questions such as "Should you buy an electric car?"

About the Science

  • The project aims 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 made it a valuable tool for policymakers, demographers, social scientists, and the public.
  • Comment from expert scientist: The review is for Images related to different sources of carbon dioxide in the US based on the 2002 inventories. The information provided by the images are useful for those interested to get a snapshot of the source strengths in different areas in the US although one has to be careful with different units used in the different maps.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • The YouTube video at this site explains the Vulcan Project and the images in this resource.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Images are clear and explained on the Vulcan Project site.

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