CO2 Sources and Emissions
now produces 22 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2
) (6.1 billion metric
tons of carbon) each year from human activity (anthropogenic CO2
comes primarily from the fossil fuels used in transportation, electrical generation, heating
and cooling, and in industrial activities, but can also result from activities like cement manufacturing and
agricultural practices. Automobiles, airplanes, ships, trucks, farm tractors, snowmobiles, and
lawnmowers are examples of mobile sources of CO2
. Factories, houses, electrical plants, cement
kilns, businesses, apartment buildings, and ice fishing houses could all be examples of stationary
sources. Stationary sources are divided into major sources that put out over 15,000 tons of CO2
year and minor sources that put out fewer tons. At a global level, tillage practices have released
carbon stored in soils and animal agriculture has led to significant deforestation, releasing carbon
and further reducing the terrestrial capacity for carbon uptake. Learn more about the place of
in the Earth’s carbon cycle.
Together the United States and Canada
generate nearly a third of the world's anthropogenic
. As shown in the Global CO2 Emissions diagram
global output to U.S. and Canadian output, the United States produces about 5.7 billion
metric tons (nearly 27%) of the global total, and Canada adds another 0.6 billion metric tons (nearly 3%).
The PCOR Partnership region
generates about 40% of Canada's anthropogenic CO2
and 9% of the anthropogenic CO2
generated in the United States. The PCOR Partnership region output
is equivalent to about 3.0% of the world's total anthropogenic CO2
output each year, as shown in
the CO2 Emissions diagram
comparing the PCOR Partnership region output to global
output. Major stationary sources, shown on the map, account for about 65% of anthropogenic CO2
is also emitted by mobile sources (26%) as well as from small stationary sources (houses,
stores and offices, and minor industrial sites; 9% of the total regional emissions).
Within the region, the PCOR Partnership Program is focused on finding practical ways to manage
from major stationary sources. These major stationary sources, including coal-fired
electricity generation facilities, energy exploration and production activities, agricultural
processing, chemical production, and ethanol production, as well as various manufacturing and
industrial activities, are the types of systems that would be the likely candidates for carbon
capture and storage in the future. There are about 700 of these major stationary sources in the
The majority of the region's CO2 emissions from stationary sources
come from just
a few source types. About two-thirds of the CO2
from major sources is emitted during electricity
generation (about 40% of the total anthropogenic CO2
emissions in the region). The remaining
one-third is emitted by industrial sources, petroleum refining and natural gas
processing, ethanol production, and agricultural processing.
The following diagrams show emissions by major source types
for the U.S. and Canadian portions
of the PCOR Partnership region.
www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggccebro/chapter1.html (accessed April 2007); the world output of
anthropogenic carbon is for fossil fuel sources in 2004.
- One ton of carbon combines with 2.7 tons of oxygen to make 3.7 tons of CO2. This means that 22
billion metric tons of CO2 contains about 6.1 billion tons of carbon.
- 1 metric ton = 2204.6 pounds (an English system ton is 2000 pounds).
- Stationary sources in the region releasing over nearly 600 million tons of CO2 per year (PCOR Partnership DSS, 2008 inventory).
Locations of Major Stationary CO2 Sources
Global Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions
The global output of anthropogenic CO2
is 22 billion metric tons. Of that, the United States
accounts for 5.7 billion metric tons and Canada for 0.6 billion metric tons. Together, the United States
and Canada account for over 29% of the world's output.
Global Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions Compared to the PCOR Partnership Region
The global output of anthropogenic CO2
is 22 billion metric tons and the
PCOR Partnership region accounts for about 3.0% of that, or 770 million metric tons.
U.S. Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions Compared to the Emissions from the U.S. Portion of the PCOR Partnership Region
The annual U.S. output of CO2
is 5.7 billion metric tons, and the U.S. portion of
the PCOR Partnership region accounts for about 9.3% of that, or about 534 million metric tons.
U.S. Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions by Sector Compared to the Emissions by
Sector from the U.S. Portion of the PCOR Partnership Region
In the United States, major stationary sources, including electrical generation and industry,
account for nearly 60% of the total CO2
output; transportation accounts for about a
third; and small stationary sources like commercial and residential structures account for the
remaining 10%. The U.S. portion of the PCOR Partnership region accounts for 9% of U.S. output
Canadian Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions Compared to Emissions from the Canadian portion of the PCOR Partnership Region
The annual Canadian output for CO2
is 0.59 billion metric tons, and the Canadian
portion of the PCOR Partnership region accounts for about 238 million metric tons, or 40% of this total.
CO2 Emissions in Canada by Sector
In Canada, major stationary sources, including electrical generation and industry, account for
just over 55% of the total CO2
output; transportation accounts for about 30%; and
smaller stationary sources like commercial and residential account for the remaining 15%. The
Canadian portion of the PCOR Partnership region accounts for 40% of the Canadian total output