Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Since 1990 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tracked the emissions and removals of greenhouse gases, but until this year your options for accessing this data were limited. You could read the report (459 pages this year), look at some fast facts tables (such as this table with the trends from 1990 to 2006), or look at the UN compilations of this data to compare it to other countries. Now if you want to get down to the local level there is a new tool, the EPA's ghgdata.

While the name sounds like something you would make when you had a really bad cold, ghgdata allows you to explore on a local level the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from large facilities. These are facilities that emit more then 25,000 metric tons of GHG and well over half of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are covered by this source.

Now since I work here at the University of Colorado Boulder, I thought I might check out our local energy supply facility here in Boulder and compare it to the one at our rival Colorado State University. To do that I went to the home page and chose Colorado. Then I typed "university" in the search box. I now can see that we here in Boulder are winning with "only" 37,184 metric tons versus CSU's 45,819 metric tons.

This map shows some of the 137 facilities you can learn more about in Colorado from this database:

Still want more resources? Check out the library's guides to climate change and the environment.

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