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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 resolutions of both space and time. The data is provided by the Vulcan emissions data project, a NASA/DOE funded effort under the North American Carbon Program.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Animation supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 6 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 4 Cross Cutting Concepts, 5 Science and Engineering Practices

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. These datasets and maps show CO2 emitted by location, in very fine detail.
  • 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.

About the Pedagogy

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

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The link from this page takes you to data from 2002. On the 'Research Data' link, you can access data through 2008.
  • Images are clear and explained on the Vulcan Project site.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Animation supports:

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 6

HS-ESS2.D1:The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-ESS2.D:Weather and Climate

HS-LS2.B3:Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are important components of the carbon cycle, in which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and geosphere through chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.

HS-PS3.D2:The main way that solar energy is captured and stored on Earth is through the complex chemical process known as photosynthesis.

HS-PS3.D:Energy in Chemical Processes

Cross Cutting Concepts: 4

Patterns, Cause and effect

HS-C1.1:Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena

HS-C1.3:Patterns of performance of designed systems can be analyzed and interpreted to reengineer and improve the system.

HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.

HS-C2.1:Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.

Science and Engineering Practices: 5

Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Developing and Using Models, Analyzing and Interpreting Data

HS-P1.3:ask questions to determine relationships, including quantitative relationships, between independent and dependent variables

HS-P2.3:Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system

HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.

HS-P4.3:Consider limitations of data analysis (e.g., measurement error, sample selection) when analyzing and interpreting data

HS-P4.5:Evaluate the impact of new data on a working explanation and/or model of a proposed process or system.

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