Visualising Ireland's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

‌Looking at pie charts, histograms and line graphs can be tiresome sometimes, so the EPA have been working with Carbon Visuals to visualise Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas emissions.

The video below shows the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from Ireland in one day. 

The data source for this visualisation is the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory for 2012 which was released in 2014. The EPA is responsible for compiling the inventories of greenhouse gas emissions for Ireland and for reporting the estimates to the European Commission and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. These inventories are compiled on an annual basis according to the UNFCCC reporting guidelines and the good practice guidance of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The national inventory calculates annual emissions from Agriculture, Energy, Transport, Industry and commercial, Residential and Waste sectors. We have also produced an infographic of Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas emissions showing the breakdown of emissions from different sectors.

Each sphere in the 3D visualisation above represents one tonne of greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide equivalent - Co2(e). Greenhouse gases other than CO2 (i.e. methane, nitrous oxide and so-called F-gases) may be converted to CO2 equivalent using their global warming potentials.

Technical Note

For 2012, Ireland’s total national greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be 58,531,238 tonnes or 160,359 tonnes per day.

Carbon dioxide gas at 15 °C and standard pressure has a density of 1.87 kg/m3. At standard pressure and 15 °C a metric ton of carbon dioxide gas would fill a sphere 10 metres across (density of CO₂ = 1.87 kg/m³:

The video shows a pile of 160,359 spheres 10 metres in diameter located near the Poolbeg Towers in Dublin Bay, with the city behind. The 3D model was created using a plugin for Cinema 4D. All maps and buildings (apart from the power station) were generated from that plugin using OpenStreetMap data.