Monday, September 3, 2012

World CO2 Production

After my other posts on CO2 production over the life of a car, I began to think about the total macro impact of oil consumption on the whole world.

CO2 Produced Per Barrel Of Gasoline Burned:

19 pounds of CO2 are created by burning a gallon of gasoline. 

= 42 gallons per barrel * 19 pounds of CO2 
= 798 pounds of C02 produced per barrel
= 362.7 kilograms of C02 produced per barrel of oil. 

World Oil Consumption:

Yearly, how much CO2 is created in the atmosphere by burning oil? First, what are the numbers for oil consumption? From The Economist, and using the numbers from:

Over 80 million barrels of oil is now consumed in the world each day. 

World Daily Oil Consumption:
2009 daily average: 84,337,000 barrels per day (84.3 million) 

84,337,000 barrels * 42 gallons per barrel:
3,542,154,000 gallons 
= 3.54 billion gallons of oil consumed each day.

World Yearly Oil Consumption:
2009 total: approximately 30,783,005,000 barrels per year (30.7 billion barrels) 
= 1,292,886,210,000 gallons per year (1.292 trillion gallons) 

Using numbers from this page, in 1997, approximately 1.02 cubic miles of oil were consumed. By calculation, in 2009, approximately 1.17 cubic miles of oil were consumed.  

In 2002, the estimated worldwide oil reserves was only 35 cubic miles. 

World C02 Production By Weight:

How much CO2 is produced in the atmosphere worldwide each year? Using 2009 statistics.

Daily CO2 By Weight:

3.54 billion gallons * 19 pounds of CO2
= 67,300,926,000 pounds 
= 30,591,330,000 kilograms 
= 33,650,463 (~33.6 million ) short tons 
= 30,591,330 (~ 30.5 million) metric tonnes 

Daily, 33,650,463 (~33.6 million) short tons of carbon dioxide created daily in the world!

Yearly CO2, By Weight:

Carbon dioxide created in the Earth's atmosphere in 2009:

30,783,005,000 barrels * 798 pounds of C02 produced per barrel
= 24,564,837,990,000 pounds of CO2 
~ 24.5 trillion pounds
= 12,282,418,995 short tons of CO2
~ 12.28 billion short tons of CO2

= 11,165,835,450,000 kilograms of CO2 
~ 11.16 trillion kilograms
= 11.16 billion metric tonnes

World C02 Production By Volume:

What is the volume of the yearly production of C02? Turns out there are already some great stats at Using some of their numbers. 

Volume of CO2 produced from burning one gallon of gas 
= 4.867 square meters
= 171.88 cubic feet

So, how big is 171.88 cubic feet of C02, produced by burning just a single gallon of gas? It's about the cargo capacity of a Honda Odyssey minivan. 

By volume, one ton of CO2 occupies:
= 556.2 cubic meters
= 19,642 cubic feet of volume.

1997 Volume Of USA CO2 Production:
= 3,035,000,000,000 cubic meters (3.035 trillion)
= 3,035 cubic kilometers
= 1,171.8 cubic miles

So, how big a volume of C02 is produced by oil consumption of the whole world in 2009? Calculate the multiplier:

World:  73,436,000 barrels per day
USA: 18,620,000 barrels per day

World oil consumption:  84,337,000 barrels per day

84,337 / 18,620
= 4.529 times

2009 Volume Of World CO2 Production:
= 3,035 cubic kilometers * 4.529
= 13,745.5 cubic kilometers
= 5,307 cubic miles

How big is that?

"US land surface area 9,158,960 square kilometers.   …Every year the United States emits a 33.14 cm (1.08 foot) high blanket of carbon dioxide over its land area."

Applying the multiplier:
= 33.14 cm * 4.529
= 150.09 cm (4.92 feet)

In 2009, the gasoline burned worldwide, produced a volume of CO2 that would cover the entire United States almost five feet deep!  

That volume of C02 is produced every year. And it's increasing.  Wow!

Imagine if it was not C02, but H2O, and the entire USA was covered, five feet deep, not in carbon dioxide, but in water! 

When this much CO2 is being produced on such a massive industrial scale, do you think that mother nature can absorb this much CO2 at the same rate?  That's a good topic for another post. 

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