In 2010 New York City added 54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (equivalent) to the atmosphere, but that number means little to most people because few of us have a sense of scale for atmospheric pollution.
Carbon Visuals ( and Environmental Defense Fund ( wanted to make those emissions feel a bit more real – the total emissions and the rate of emission. Designed to engage the ‘person on the street’, this version is exploratory and still work in progress. Mayor Bloomberg’s office has not been involved in the creation or dissemination of this video.
NYC carbon footprint:
54,349,650 tons a year = 148,903 tons a day = 6,204 tons an hour = 1.72 tons a second
At standard pressure and 59 °F a metric ton of carbon dioxide gas would fill a sphere 33 feet across (density of CO₂ = 1.87 kg/m³: If this is how New York’s emissions actually emerged we would see one of these spheres emerge every 0.58 seconds.
Emissions in 2010 were 12% less than 2005 emissions. The City of New York is on track to reduce emissions by 30% by 2017 – an ambitious target.
For a set of stills from this movie, see:
For more information see: