A new project calls on citizen scientists to help map carbon dioxide emissions

US researchers are enlisting the help of citizen scientists to map carbon dioxide emissions from power plants around the world.

Lack of information on the locations and outputs of power plants poses challenges for those seeking to monitor emissions and tackle climate change. A team at Arizona State University have appealed for members of the public to help fill in the gaps. ‘Our logic is that for every power plant in the world, there are probably at least a dozen people who live near it, or work at it, or know someone who works at it,’ says Darragh O’Keefe, one of the project leaders.

The Ventus project website allows users to input data on the location, fuel type and electricity produced by power plants onto a Google Earth map. Users can add new plants or edit existing records. At the end of the first year a ‘winner’, who has submitted the most useable information, will be named.