A carbon emissions map of the U.S.

Where is carbon dioxide being generated? The Vulcan project at Purdue is trying to find out.

"We're trying to create a high resolution fossil fuel map of the united states," said Kevin Gurney from Purdue. The university doesn't monitor tail pipes. Instead, it looks at traffic data, fuel sales, agricultural output, and activity at electrical plants, among other data points, and constructs a model that describes how much CO2, one of the most prominent greenhouse gases, is going up in the air during a given hour.

In a simulation of a carbon map of Ohio, you can see CO2 starting to perk at rush hour.

They will try to make the maps public next spring. Purdue is also at work on a map for the world called Hestia.

Ultimately, the data can be used to enforce carbon regulations, Gurney said.

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    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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