Study maps greenhouse gas emissions to building, street level for U.S. cities

Oct 09, 2012
Researchers at Arizona State University and Purdue University created a visualization of the Hestia system that shows the hourly, building-by-building dynamics of CO2 emissions in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. Credit: Bedrich Benes and Michel Abdul-Massih

Arizona State University researchers have developed a new software system capable of estimating greenhouse gas emissions across entire urban landscapes, all the way down to roads and individual buildings. Until now, scientists quantified carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at a much broader level.

Dubbed "Hestia" after the Greek goddess of the hearth and home, researchers presented the new system in an article published October 9 in . Hestia combines extensive public database "data-mining" with traffic simulation and building-by-building energy-consumption modeling. Its high-resolution maps clearly identify CO2 emission sources in a way that policy-makers can utilize and the public can understand.

"Cities have had little information with which to guide reductions in – and you can't reduce what you can't measure," said Kevin Gurney, an associate professor in ASU's School of Life Sciences, and senior scientist with the Global Institute of Sustainability. "With Hestia, we can provide cities with a complete, three-dimensional picture of where, when and how are occurring."

The research team collected data from a wide variety of sources such as local air pollution reports, traffic counts, and tax assessor parcel information. The data is then combined within a modeling system for quantifying CO2 at the level of individual buildings and street segments.

With Hestia, researchers from Arizona State University have a detailed understanding of where CO2 is being emitted from the urban landscape. This map shows where CO2 is emitted across the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, and combines data from sources including factories, automobiles on roadways, homes, and power plants. Credit: Bedrich Benes and Michel Abdul-Massih

So far, scientists have applied Hestia to the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, and work is ongoing for the cities of Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona. They hope to ultimately map the CO2 emissions in all major cities across the United States, which accounts for nearly one-quarter of all . The Hestia research team believes this type of detailed emissions information can help determine what we as a society, can do locally and globally about .

"As a community, we must take a leadership role in sustaining our relationship with the environment," said ASU President Michael M. Crow. "This research, and its implications for global engagement regarding climate change, is an exciting step forward. Hestia gives us the next tool we need to help policy-makers create effective greenhouse gas legislation."

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Arizona State University researchers have developed a new software system capable of estimating greenhouse gas emissions across entire urban landscapes, all the way down to roads and individual buildings. Until now, scientists quantified carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at a much broader level. Dubbed "Hestia" after the Greek goddess of the hearth and home, the system combines extensive public database "data-mining" with traffic simulation and building-by-building energy-consumption modeling. Its high-resolution maps clearly identify CO2 emission sources in a way that policy-makers can utilize and the public can understand. Hestia provides a complete, three-dimensional picture of where, when, and how carbon dioxide emissions are occurring. Credit: Kevin Gurney, Bedrich Benes, Michel Abdul-Massih, Suzanna Remec, Jim Hurst

"These results may also help overcome current barriers to the United States joining an international climate change treaty," agreed Gurney, Hestia's lead scientist. "Many countries are unwilling to sign a treaty when greenhouse gas emission reductions cannot be independently verified."

According to researchers, Hestia's increased detail and accuracy will help cities, and possibly even other nations, identify where an investment in energy and savings would have the greatest impact.

"Leading in sustainability is not easy; however, as Mayor, I am committed to doing so," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. "Undoubtedly, Hestia will be a good tool to help us make more informed decisions as leaders in Phoenix and the Valley around issues of air quality, health and a sustainable future."

Although climate change presents society with tough challenges, Gurney believes this new system enables concrete, positive steps towards mitigating the problem.

"Hestia offers practical information we can use to identify the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions and track progress over time," Gurney said. "Scientists have spent decades describing the seriousness of climate change. Now, we are offering practical information to help do something about it."

Explore further: NOAA establishes 'tipping points' for sea level rise related flooding

More information: Hestia data for three cities is available for download at: hestia.project.asu.edu/audience_researchers.shtml

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User comments : 9

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NotParker
1 / 5 (3) Oct 09, 2012
So ... Google Maps wouldn't be cheaper?
ScooterG
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 09, 2012
BIAS ALERT! BIAS ALERT! BIAS ALERT!

Apparently Kevin Gurney is a money magnet in the field of climate change grant-shopping. Kevin obviously has a vested financial interest in perpetuating the AGW hoax, as does Arizona State University.

This is yet another "scientific" study best suited for the trash can.
We've identified another "scientist" who has traded his integrity for a job.
We can add ASU to the list of universities who seek, encourage, applaud, and profit from junk science.

http://sols.asu.e...rney.php
Howhot
3 / 5 (4) Oct 09, 2012
Awesome technology Arizona State University! To be able to localize the bad pollution creators to the building they are in. That does more to affix blame to the cause than anything I've seen before. Imagine, being able to locate to the company across the globe, the worst polluters in the world. It's time to eliminate these sources.

Only the most morally corrupt pollution lovers like ScooterG would object to this; and yet he does. He complains about Junk science; I complain about his junk education. What a dip this ScooterG is.
Your a turd Scoo... a back-petal of a human.

Technology rules you turds.

NotParker
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 10, 2012
Awesome technology Arizona State University! To be able to localize the bad pollution creators to the building they are in.


Like the buildings that house powerplants the supply the electricity to the computer you used to post your idiocy?
BaconBits
1 / 5 (1) Oct 11, 2012
Ah Parker & Scooter. So glad you trolls could jump on yet AGW another article on this site to spread your insidious propaganda.

Which of these passes your sense of Occams Razor?

Every scientific institute or engineering organization (now including petrochemical) endorses the science indicating the Earth is warming and that it is primarily due to increased CO2 from human activity. EVERY SINGLE ONE, IN EVERY COUNTRY. (wikipedia)

So either all of these scientific institutes and the scientists or engineers that belong to them are colluding to perpetrate a lie and are willing to bet their own and their organization's reputation on it or...

A small group of people, some paid by the oil, gas, tobacco and energy companies, are systematically spreading misleading information and claims of a hoax to promote an anti-science view that will greatly reduce any likelihood of those industries being regulated or taxed.

Hmmm. Which one is more likely to be true
ScooterG
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 11, 2012
Awesome technology Arizona State University! To be able to localize the bad pollution creators to the building they are in. That does more to affix blame to the cause than anything I've seen before. Imagine, being able to locate to the company across the globe, the worst polluters in the world. It's time to eliminate these sources.

Only the most morally corrupt pollution lovers like ScooterG would object to this; and yet he does. He complains about Junk science; I complain about his junk education. What a dip this ScooterG is.
Your a turd Scoo... a back-petal of a human.

Technology rules you turds.



Hate-filled, foul-mouthed radical environmentalists like you do more to discredit the AGW movement than anything I could ever do.

Keep up the good work!
NotParker
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 12, 2012
It stopped warming in 1998. Why did CO2 stop working?
Howhot
1 / 5 (1) Oct 14, 2012
It stopped warming in 1998. Why did CO2 stop working?

Pollution is pollution. This tool allows government to isolate the polluters to their exact location, so say EPA fines a city for excessive air pollution, not it can fine the specific individual companies that are causing the bulk of air pollution problems.
That is great progress.
Howhot
2 / 5 (1) Oct 14, 2012
"Hate-filled, foul-mouthed radical environmentalists like you do more to discredit the AGW movement than anything I could ever do."
It wasn't hate filled nor was it particularly foul mouthed, but yes the tone was scornful. I apologize to you ScooterG for that unnecessary attack. You deniers seem to know all of the buttons to push to raise my level of contempt. Your ad-homen attack on climate science and your demeaning label of "Junk Science" is an insult to ASU academic abilities. You should retract your statement as well.

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