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Posts tagged with: "EMISSCO2TOTVTCCOA"

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CO2 in the air: How does it get there?

CO2 emissions by fuel type and sector

In a previous post, we looked at carbon emissions by fuel type broken down by different economic sectors. Today, we slice the data another way: We look at each economic sector and break down their emissions by fuel type. The first graph shows that the big emitters are transportation, electric power generation, and industry. Overall emissions have tended to decline, mostly thanks to a decline from power generation.

The next graph shows the commercial sector. Overall, it emits relatively little CO2 and all fuel types seem to be on the decline. The recent surge in gasoline is most likely due to a reclassification of some sub-sectors into the commercial sector.

The next graph, which shows emissions from the industrial sector, isn’t very enlightening, as the largest fuel type is “Other.” But all fuel types are emitting less, except for distillate fuels such as diesel.

Electric power generation is traditionally the largest emitter, so it’s particularly relevant to consider its fuel composition. A clear majority of its emissions come from coal, but this is now on a steady decline. Natural gas has increased, but overall emissions from this sector have been decreasing.

Our last two graphs consider the transportation and residential sectors: Clearly, the transportation sector is very heavily into petroleum, with a slight upward trend in its emissions. The residential sector is heavily into natural gas, plus a bit of petroleum, with a slight downward trend.

How these graphs were created: For the first, search for “carbon dioxide emissions all fuels,” use the side bar to restrict results to “nation,” select the series shown here, and click “Add to Graph.” From the “Edit Graph” panel, use the “Format” tab to select graph type “Area” and stacking “Normal.” The five other graphs are built similarly by searching for “carbon dioxide emissions” and the respective sector, including only series where the units are million metric tons. Note: The “Format” tab also allows you to choose colors for the series, which is useful for making the colors for the fuels consistent across graphs.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

View on FRED, series used in this post: EMISSCO2TOTVCCTOUSA, EMISSCO2TOTVECCOA, EMISSCO2TOTVECNGA, EMISSCO2TOTVECPEA, EMISSCO2TOTVECTOUSA, EMISSCO2TOTVICTOUSA, EMISSCO2TOTVRCCOA, EMISSCO2TOTVRCNGA, EMISSCO2TOTVRCPEA, EMISSCO2TOTVRCTOUSA, EMISSCO2TOTVTCCOA, EMISSCO2TOTVTCNGA, EMISSCO2TOTVTCPEA, EMISSCO2TOTVTCTOUSA, EMISSCO2VCLCCBA, EMISSCO2VCLICBA, EMISSCO2VDFCCBA, EMISSCO2VDFICBA, EMISSCO2VKSCCBA, EMISSCO2VLUICBA, EMISSCO2VMGCCBA, EMISSCO2VMGICBA, EMISSCO2VRFCCBA, EMISSCO2VRFICBA

What fuels air pollution?

A look at CO2 emissions by fuel type

The U.S. Energy Information Administration collects data on CO2 emissions, and FRED has recently added these data to its catalog. The graph above stacks the amount of CO2 emitted from the three main energy sources: coal, natural gas, and petroleum. Given the recent shift in energy sources, it shouldn’t be surprising the coal-related share of emissions has declined as the natural gas-related share of emissions has grown. Now let’s look at the picture across different economic sectors.

Our second graph shows the sources of CO2 emissions from coal. Clearly, electric power generation creates the bulk of emissions. Industrial uses—the creation of steel, for example—contribute some emissions as well. The other sectors are negligible, with transportation registering a zero for all periods. (Coal-powered steam locomotives had been decommissioned by the start of the sample period.) Our next graph shows the same distribution for natural gas, with all sectors contributing to emissions. The shares seem pretty steady, except for the recent increases in the electric power sector.

The last graph shows emissions from petroleum use. Here, transportation creates the lion’s share and any changes in overall emissions can be traced back to that sector. So, if you give a hoot about reducing emissions from coal or natural gas, the power-generating sector seems key; for petroleum, transportation is key.

How these graphs were created: First graph: Search for “total carbon dioxide emissions,” restrict results in the side bar to “nation,” select the three series, and click “Add to Graph.” From the “Edit Graph” panel, open the “Format” tab and select graph type “Area” and stacking “Normal.” The three other graphs are built similarly by searching for “carbon dioxide emissions” and the respective fuel type. Adjust line colors in the “Format” tab so that each sector has the same color across graphs.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

View on FRED, series used in this post: EMISSCO2TOTVCCCOA, EMISSCO2TOTVCCNGA, EMISSCO2TOTVCCPEA, EMISSCO2TOTVECCOA, EMISSCO2TOTVECNGA, EMISSCO2TOTVECPEA, EMISSCO2TOTVICCOA, EMISSCO2TOTVICNGA, EMISSCO2TOTVICPEA, EMISSCO2TOTVRCCOA, EMISSCO2TOTVRCNGA, EMISSCO2TOTVRCPEA, EMISSCO2TOTVTCCOA, EMISSCO2TOTVTCNGA, EMISSCO2TOTVTCPEA, EMISSCO2TOTVTTCOUSA, EMISSCO2TOTVTTNGUSA, EMISSCO2TOTVTTPEUSA


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