Time-lapse history of human global CO2 emissions





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Published on Jan 7, 2010

Animated time-lapse video of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions in map form, spanning the 18th century until this current first decade of the 21st century. Shows the start in England and radiating to Europe, US and then Asia.

The video makes it easy to visualize the geographical distribution and trends in post industrial revolution anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions over 256 years.

Whether you are worried about the consequences of carbon pollution or a sceptic of global warming, you should take a look, since this data is based on recorded use of fossil fuels, gas flaring and cement production, but not land-use changes.

The majority of anthropogenic CO2 emissions are represented in this video by Robert W. Corkery using data from ORNL on a Nasa Blue Marble background image. Music copyright Robert W. Corkery 2007.

7 January 2010
This video is an updated version of the video originally appearing on Youtube at:


This version corrects an inadvertent clipping of the very highest emitting grid squares that occurred in the original video. It also makes a minor correction to the scale bar.

The changes make little difference to the incredible dynamics of the industrial revolution and its associated carbon emissions represented in the video formatted data from ORNL.

I am hoping folks at Youtube can help me update the original, as there is no mechanism for me to update this myself apparently.


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