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April 24, 2008

Richard Florida

CO2 Map

« Political Geography | Main | Rising from the Sands »


Source: Purdue University's Vulcan Project.

A list of the top emitting counties after the jump.

1. Harris, Texas (Houston), 18.625 million tons of carbon per year
2. Los Angeles, Calif. (Los Angeles), 18.595
3. Cook, Ill. (Chicago), 13.209
4. Cuyahoga, Ohio (Cleveland), 11.144
5. Wayne, Mich. (Detroit), 8.270
6. San Juan, N.M. (Farmington), 8.245
7. Santa Clara, Calif. (San Jose), 7.995
8. Jefferson, Ala. (Birmingham), 7.951
9. Wilcox, Ala. (Camden), 7.615
10. East Baton Rouge, La. (Baton Rouge), 7.322
11. Titus, Texas (Mt. Pleasant), 7.244
12. Carbon, Pa. (Jim Thorpe), 6.534
13. Porter, Ind. (Valparaiso), 6.331
14. Jefferson, Ohio (Steubenville), 6.278
15. Indiana, Pa. (Indiana), 6.224
16. Middlesex, Mass. (Boston metro area), 6.198
17. Bexar, Texas (San Antonio), 6.141
18. Hillsborough, Fla. (Tampa), 6.037
19. Suffolk, N.Y. (New York metro area), 6.030
20. Clark, Nev. (Las Vegas) 5.955

Via Wired.


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Charlie D.

That's great, but what about if you take into account population density. What are the tons of CO2 PER PERSON of each location? I think the map would look drastically different.


The map does indeed look very different when changed to display per capita emissions.


Brock @ SAS

The Chicago Carbon Exchange has some municipalities as members - presumably offsetting by trading carbon credits.

City of Aspen
City of Berkeley
City of Boulder
City of Chicago
City of Fargo
City of Oakland
City of Melbourne, Australia
City of Portland



This map also suggests the CO2 impact on counties that host one or more Interstate highways. I wonder if one could split out resident CO2 from transient CO2.

Michael Wells

One thing that stands out is the longer the car commute, the higher the CO2. The SF Bay Area's carbon footprint spreads into the Central Valley, it looks like further than around any other city. I've obsessed about this before, the 100 mile commuters.

On the per capita map, interesting patterns show up in car country -- rural Wyoming, Arizona go red, while the big cities, especially ones with good mass transit, become light green.

Michael Wells


Interesting idea. If you enlarge the map, you can actually follow the CO2 concentration along I-205 from Stockton/Modesto and I-80 from Sacramento, as both go through the Coast Range to the San Francisco Bay Area. I don't think any other region has such narrow commuter routes, so this is a unique demonstration of auto/smog trails.

Jaakko H.

There are a few interesting points that this underlines.

1) Emissions alone don't tell much -- without taking the per capita in considerations

2) Per capita emissions alone don't tell much -- without knowing what it the total impact of those in the area

3) Mapping energy usage to some area is very problematic at times without more detailed information on the energy usage (e.g. a good chunk of China's emissions could just as well be attributed to American & European consumers -- but mapping this is difficult if not impossible)

I'm not sure but I think I've read somewhere that there would be initiatives to take #3 in consideration (in a form of some embedded energy exports/imports calculations? - IEA??).

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