Suburbanites lead their urban counterparts in carbon emissions

It may look idyllic, but it’s remarkably inefficient.

With climate change looming large on the horizon, a lot of effort has gone into pinpointing the biggest producers of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Now, a new study has identified a major culprit: suburbia.

The study, published last week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, estimates household emissions across more than 31,000 ZIP codes to examine how carbon footprints vary across the United States. The researchers used a wide range of data to determine energy use, including population density (from US Census information), energy prices (based on data from the Energy Information Administration), daily temperature (via NOAA weather stations), and diet information (from the USDA nutrition database). Once the researchers had estimates for energy demand, they were able to calculate the household emissions resulting from this consumption.

Using data from the study, the researchers created a website where you can check out the average annual household carbon footprint in your ZIP code and estimate your own emissions.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

via Ars Technica


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