New technology enables CO2 emissions tracking down to the level of individual buildings

I wonder what sort of reactions will occur when the CO2 police come knocking on individual doors saying “you need to turn off your heater, you are killing the planet”? A video follows.

From Arizona State University:

Study maps greenhouse gas emissions to building, street level for US cities

Project to help overcome barriers to an international climate change treaty

TEMPE, Ariz. – 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.

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

Dubbed “Hestia” after the Greek goddess of the hearth and home, researchers presented the new system in an article published October 9 in Environmental Science and Technology. 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 greenhouse gas emissions – 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 carbon dioxide emissions 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 emissions 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 – CLICK TO ENLARGE

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 global CO2 emissions. 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 climate change.

“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.”

“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.”

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 – CLICK TO ELARGE

According to researchers, Hestia’s increased detail and accuracy will help cities, and possibly even other nations, identify where an investment in energy and greenhouse gas 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.”

###

Purdue Showalter Trust, Knauf Insulation, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology funded the three-year Hestia project, which involved researchers Bedrich Benes and Michael Abdul-Massih from Purdue’s University Department of Computer Graphics and Technology.

Note:

Hestia is part of a larger effort that combines information about emissions with ground and satellite-based measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. It is now part of the INFLUX experiment in Indianapolis and is expected to complement NASA’s planned December 2013 launch of the Orbital Carbon Observatory satellite, which will measure the concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

ASU’s School of Life Sciences is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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MarkW

Big brother, here we come.
And to think, it’s in service to a problem that never existed in the first place.

wmsc

Washington, DC and the UN building in NY would be interesting places to model, what with all the hot air they generate…

MangoChutney

wow, so they know how much CO2 I omit when I breathe and how much CH4 I emit when I fart.
So what?
If CO2 was the cause of cAGW, then this may be considered useful, otherwise it’s just another waste of money that could be better spent on really protecting the environment (from the greens tearing down forests to plant “fuel”)

Ah…just the tool the climate police are looking for. George Orwell would incorporate this into his updated book, 2012 if he were around. A danger to freedom of choice if I ever saw it.

They don’t seem to be measuring actual CO2 levels, just emissions. It’s my experience that CO2 levels actually drop dramatically during the daylight hours because of the photosynthesis effect.
http://www.minnesotansforglobalwarming.com/m4gw/2012/09/the-photosynthesis-effect.html
They should do another study showing the CO2 absorption by the surrounding vegetation and the corresponding Oxygen emissions.

temp

I’m confused… outside of simply shutting down CO2 producers. What exactly will this knowledge be used to improve?
Or is this the game of hide the CO2 under the tree bit where they say, push industry parks farther from the city and plant trees next to them and claim they reduced CO2, all the while greatly increasing the commute time and cost of the private citizen and really overall increasing the amount of CO2.

Billy Liar

They may want to re-think the name for their project:
http://www.hestia.com.au/
Locally known as ‘Holds every sized t*t in Australia’

agenda 21 anyone?

JJ

“Cities have had little information with which to guide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – 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.
Hey dumb@$$ – you aren’t measuring anything.
“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.”
You aren’t verifying anything, either – independently or otherwise.
Are there any actual scientists left in this business?

Franksw

Is a new carbon emissions tax for buildings on it’s way?

GlynnMhor

What would be the point of all this investment in measuring CO2, except to provide a pretext for abusing high emitters with taxation of some sort?

Looky, looky, another way of visualizing data that came out of the netherworld. We can’t very clearly just measure it, so bring in a @)#$)*@#( model and let it do the work for you. Don’t worry about making sure your results match reality…

Oh Bogg, yet another “modeling system!”

Lets start with all those old fashioned town halls, courthouses, mayors’ mansions, antiquated schools, etc.

Yikes…so based on “models” (all the way down) these guys have created groovy graphics showing that more activity occurs downtown during the day, there are two rush hours, more heat is used in winter.
My eight year old, with three, coloured, crayons could pretty much replicate the insights afforded by this “simulation”.

george e smith

So how many msec does it take to move CO2; which is well known to be well mixed in the environment from the street onto my property ? You will have to identify just what carboniferous material in my house was the origin of some particular CO2 molecule that you have captured on my property. You did actually find the CO2 on my property didn’t you ?? No don’t give me any of that spectral signature crap; get some actual physical material.

What are those office buildings, iron kilns ?
it’s not “tracking downs”, it is just setting the blame, most buildings are not burning coal or oil … this is not about CO2 emissions but about energy consumption, which is something different
how about emissions by plants during the night ??

george e smith

Say what were you doing on my property in the first place; making an illegal search and seizure ??

FarRight

I can see an episode of “Green Cops” coming . . .
Bad boys bad boys
Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
Watcha gonna do, with your CO2

mwhite

“estimating greenhouse gas emissions”
ESTIMATING

Brian Johnson uk

Utterly, utterly useless piece of junk. Who on earth approved the Grant money? Almost as useful as a raindrop counter. Hestia, join the ranks of Fool’s Gold, Tulip Trading and Papal Indulgences.
So depressing…………. 🙁

Resourceguy

Sign zee papers of your CO2 crimes and we will let you see your family some day.

aharris

So, it looks like they cut out the pollution tracking bits of a Sim City game.
They better keep their computer program out of my furnace in the winter. I’m cold-blooded and I need that heat. Thank you very much.

D. Patterson

College kids, CO2 detectors, fart detectors, and BS dispensors….what is the academic community coming to? Oh, that’s right…cow diapers.

DP

Great, now that we solved that non-existent problem why don’t we try it on somthing silly like crime.

Neo

“… developed a new software system capable of estimating greenhouse gas emissions …”
“Software” “estimating” … this feels like yet another model

more soylent green!

MangoChutney says:
October 9, 2012 at 11:02 am
wow, so they know how much CO2 I omit when I breathe and how much CH4 I emit when I fart.
So what?
If CO2 was the cause of cAGW, then this may be considered useful, otherwise it’s just another waste of money that could be better spent on really protecting the environment (from the greens tearing down forests to plant “fuel”)

No, they have an estimate created using a model. Presumably, the input will include your height, weight, BMI, daily activity level and what you had for lunch.

golfnewsmag

So, folks, are you saying either there is no global warming or there is, but it’s not a serious issue? There are some things as a society we have to tackle as a society; issues so pervasive individuals alone can not solve them. Global warming, whether you like it or not, seems to be one of them. I am not about to believe I am smarter that hundreds of the finest scientists in the world that say global warming exists, it is alarming and they give factual, physics to back it up.

2kevin

Let’s fix that headline:
“New technology enables dancing Angel tracking down to the level of a pin’s head.”

DirkH

1) Identify biggest CO2 emitter
2) Regulate them out of existence.
We don’t have the fancy software here in Germany. We just jack up the electricity rate. Works like a charm.
First aluminum smelters closing. Who’s stupid enough to try to make Aluminum in Germany anyway.

Kasuha

Looks to me like they count emissions twice – once in the power plant when energy is generated, once when that energy is used to heat and operate buildings.

dp

They’re reading the power meters and estimating the CO2 needed to create that power. In the case of Arizona that is probably coming from the Colorado River dams and power plants.
The original dp

Paul Westhaver

CREEPY…. I mean
C-R-E-E-P-Y
Next they will have plot of individuals exhaling… real time….

What i get from the article is that instead of measuring the co2 they are going to get other data and model the co2. I guess that make sense in a alternative universe

Toto

“you can’t reduce what you can’t measure”
You can tax what you can estimate, even if it can’t be measured.
“Leading in sustainability is not easy”
Sustainability is not sustainable.

Mac the Knife

‘Hestia’ (or seomthing very much like it!) is the modeling platform that will be used by governments, from the national level down to city/county local levels, to assess and collect ‘CO2 emissions’ taxes. Bet on it.
MtK

They are missing the important half of a concentration plume model. where and how fast are those emissions sucked up by clouds, soil, vegetation, concrete, and bodies of water? A city plume quickly diffuses to “background levels” indicating most emissions never get very far. The idea that these sinks get saturated and raises the background level is the backbone of the AGW arguement. I don’t think so. The background level has risen and fallen for millions of years.

Noticed they got a grant from NASA. Is NASA part of ICLEI now, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions? You are right, saneromeo, when you said, “agenda 21 anyone?”

Curiousgeorge

Maybe they can measure the CO2 emissions from my 12 gauge. Yeah, stick that probe in that big hole – see what’s in there 😉

Jim G

Better hope Barry Soetoro AKA Barack Hussein Obama does not win another term or the CO2 police will be knocking on your door.

“Ride your bicycle to work, and don’t breathe too hard while you do it”

davidmhoffer

City Planner; I have good news Mr Mayor, and bad news.
Mr Mayor; Well, what’s the good newds?
City Planner; We’ve met all our goals for reducing CO2 emissions in the city.
Mr Mayor; That’s great!
City Planner; Yup, once we shut down all the major highways, the airports, the factories, the warehouses, the trucking companies and the office towers, we met our goals and then some.
Mr. Mayor; Fantastic! I knew the plan would work. We’ll be the greenest city in the nation.
City Planner; There’s some bad news as well sir….
Mr Mayor; Nothing can ruin my day now, get on with it, what’s the bad news?
City Planner; Itz just the two of us now sir.
Mr Mayor; Just the two of us?
City Planner; Yes sir. Everyone else moved. Seems they prefer cities with jobs, goods and services, food on the store shelves, and things like that. Who knew? Anyway, like I said, itz just the two of us and I’m leaving too. So…. that leaves you to shut off the lights on your way out of town.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

Did I miss something? Where was it described how CO2 is actually measured? Just because you can calculate a number to 6 decimal places does not make in a measurement.

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 emissions at the level of individual buildings and street segments.

I’m betting that “local air pollution reports” are themselves estimated to a significant degree.
You know what would stop all this nonsense cold? Allow people who claim they suffered damages due to inaccurate CO2 attribution to qualify for class-action status lawsuits against the developers and sellers of these kind of decision support systems. The only way this garbage becomes reality is if the people pushing it are completely insulated from liability.

MarkW

golfnewsmag says:
October 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm
and they give factual, physics to back it up.

That would be a first. When pray tell did they do this. To date they have nothing but highly flawed models to back up their belief system.

Read the post, picked out ” … estimating greenhouse gas emissions across entire urban landscapes” “modeling system for quantifying CO2 emissions” … Then Gurney says ” .. you can’t reduce what you can’t measure …”. They aren’t actually intending to measure co2. The “data” is apparently coming from b****s**t devices, like the ones you plug in your mains, tells you wot your bigbadcarbonfootprint is. Extraordinary.
Some of us have been using genuine co2 meters for years. One of the simplest ways of monitoring internal air quality, especially in confined construction workplaces where gas welding/soldering etc is taking place.
1% dataloggers start at about $200. Maybe they would learn something if they installed a few in the airflow from natural landscape, eg parks, forestry etc?
Diurnal logs will likely show an 8 – 15% increase in co2 concentration between sunset and sunrise.
Then start adding directional anemometers …
6am here, sun coming up, co2 starting to drop. Ooh – bit of a blip upwards. Breeze coming across from the take-away shop. Independent verification: family dog is looking in that direction and sniffing the air.

A. Scott

others have noted it – I’ll repeat they are ESTIMATING using a MODELwhat the emissions might be. This is not science – it is little more than cartoon animation. They have no idea the occupant loading for commercial buildings and thus cannot make any meaningful estimate of CO2 contribution.
At the very best they can roughly approximate energy use based on square footage of the building. But this too is of marginal benefit at best, as they have no way of knowing the building’s construction, HVAC systems (age, quality, fuel source), or energy efficiency.
You could do a probably better – or at least equal – job simply using Google Earth and writing a visualization based on building footprint and height.

D Böehm

golfnewsmag says:
October 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm
So, folks, are you saying either there is no global warming or there is, but it’s not a serious issue? There are some things as a society we have to tackle as a society; issues so pervasive individuals alone can not solve them. Global warming, whether you like it or not, seems to be one of them. I am not about to believe I am smarter that hundreds of the finest scientists in the world that say global warming exists, it is alarming and they give factual, physics to back it up.
Of course there is global warming. The planet has been warming since the LIA.
It is not a serious issue; global warming is entirely beneficial. And it cannot be ‘solved’ by humans. Further, there is no scientific evidence showing that CO2 causes global warming. It may. But the only empirical evidence available shows that global warming causes increased CO2.
Finally, there are plenty of climatologists who think AGW is something we need not worry about. The planet has been considerably warmer during the current Holocene, with no ill effects. And we have been in a “Goldilocks” climate for the past century and a half: global temperatures have varied only about 0.8ºC. That is extremely stable. At times the planet has warmed and cooled by tens of degrees in a shorter time.
Stick around here for a while, and you will find that you have been spoon-fed a lot of pseudo-scientific nonsense emitted by the climate alarmist crowd.

David Ball

golfnewsmag says:
October 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Stick around a while, check your preconceptions and emotions at the door, and actually LOOK at the “science” involved. It will be difficult at first, as you seem to have gone a along way down the road to global warming. That is ok. Many educated people have been exactly where you are now. Do not take someones word for it. Look for yourself. Ask questions here. You can do that on WUWT? and get reasonable answers and treatment. Invest some time in your opinions. When you find out that much of what you currently believe about man-made global warming is based on VERY tenuous “science”, you will wonder how you ever bought into it in the first place. The closer you look, the more cavernous holes there are. But don’t take my word for it.

more soylent green!

golfnewsmag says:
October 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm
So, folks, are you saying either there is no global warming or there is, but it’s not a serious issue? There are some things as a society we have to tackle as a society; issues so pervasive individuals alone can not solve them. Global warming, whether you like it or not, seems to be one of them. I am not about to believe I am smarter that hundreds of the finest scientists in the world that say global warming exists, it is alarming and they give factual, physics to back it up.

There is no physical evidence to back up the claims that this is a serious issue. If they actually had facts to back it up, we wouldn’t need to be discussing this.
The output of models is not data. That applies to this “study” and climate models. In fact, it’s universal. Computer programs do not output data. Models do not output data.

Let me get this straight – they’re just using electricity and fuel usage to come up with these graphics? Is there any ground truth going on? Why not just create an energy tax and leave out the pretty pictures. Public humiliation? Sales pitch?
Ground truth like with remote sensing at CO2 wavelengths. Satellites might not be able to see the cities, but arial sensors should. Perhaps they could contract with Google to add CO2 imagers to the next pass of Google streets. 🙂