Vulcan Project Zeros In On Carbon Dioxide Emissions, Literally

I recently came across the Vulcan Project, a project that aims to quantify North American fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions at space and time scales much finer than has been achieved in the past.

A team led by scientists at Purdue University developed the maps and system, named Vulcan after the Roman god of fire. The system quantifies all of the carbon dioxide emissions that result from burning fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline. It is available at

Kevin Gurney, who leads the project, said Vulcan helps demystify the connection between fossil fuel use and climate change.

"This will bring emissions information into everyone's living room as a recognizable, accessible online experience," says Gurney, who is an assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences. "What was once the realm of scientists will now be provided directly to the public. We hope to eventually turn it into an interactive space where the public will feed information into the system to create an even finer picture of emissions down to the street and individual building level."

Traci Purdum
Senior Digital Editor