Planes or volcano? What is emitting more CO2?
Planes or volcano? What is emitting more CO2?

What works

Volcano = triangle. Love it. Red is bad, black is good = kind of perfect. Being able to see that the volcanic eruptions are actually net benefit events because they release less CO2 than they prevent is great. I do wonder if the uptick in flights that inevitably follows any singular event could be mapped. Furthermore, when I was in Europe during the first major eruption event and I would say plenty of people were renting cars. I know that isn’t nearly as bad as flying, but it does contribute some CO2. I also wonder if this graphic could be expanded over time to see if the volcano ends up contributing or inhibiting contributions to global CO2 over time. Will people stay home or at least stay out of Europe, taking shorter flights (or no flights) because they are worried about the volcano?

What needs work

The volcano needs work. It needs to stop eating my luggage. That’s all I have to say. I know that if you are reading this and even moderately awake, you will point out that if I stopped flying I would not have a luggage problem and I would not be polluting your world with all my flight traffic. So maybe I’m the one who needs work.


The Graphic
McCandless, David and Bartels, Ben. (16 April 2010) Planes or Volcano? at Information is Beautiful.

The Data
USGS, BBC, EEA, Nordic Volcanological Institute, AFP [lower estimates used]