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Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center - Conversion Tables

Contents taken from Glossary: Carbon Dioxide and Climate, 1990. ORNL/CDIAC-39, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Third Edition. Edited by: Fred O'Hara Jr.

1 - International System of Units (SI) Prefixes
2 - Useful Quantities in CO2
3 - Common Conversion Factors
4 - Common Energy Unit Conversion Factors
5 - Geologic Time Scales
6 - Factors and Units for Calculating Annual CO2 Emissions Using Global Fuel Production Data

 

Table 1. International System of Units (SI) Prefixes

Prefix SI Symbol Multiplication Factor
exa E 1018
peta P 1015
tera T 1012
giga G 109
mega M 106
kilo k 103
hecto h 102
deka da 10
deci d 10-1
centi c 10-2
milli m 10-3
micro μ 10-6
nano n 10-9
pico p 10-12
femto f 10-15
atto a 10-18

 

Table 2. Useful Quantities in CO2 Research

Modified from Clark, W. C. (ed.). 1982. Carbon Dioxide Review: 1982, p. 469, Oxford University Press, New York.

Quantity Symbol1 Value
Solar constant S 1.367 kW/m2
Earth mass M 5.976 × 1024 kg
Equatorial radius a 6.378 × 106 m
Polar radius c 6.357 × 106 m
Mean radius R 6.371 × 106 m
Surface area Ae 5.101 × 1014 m2
Land area Al 1.481 × 1014 m2
Ocean area As 3.620 × 1014 m2
Ice sheets and
glaciers area
Is 0.14 × 1014 m2
Mean land elevation hl 840 m
Mean ocean depth hs 3730 m
Mean ocean volume Vs 1.350 × 1018 m3
Ocean mass Ms 1.384 × 1021 kg
Mass of atmosphere Ma 5.137 × 1018 kg
Equatorial surface
gravity
ge 9.78 m/s2
Polar surface
gravity
gp 9.83 m/s2
Average surface g 9.805 m/s2

1Symbols generally follow reference standards used in Bolin, B. (ed.). 1981. Carbon Cycle Modelling, SCOPE 16, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

 

Table 3. Common Conversion Factors

Modifed from Clark, W. C. (ed.). 1982. Carbon Dioxide Review: 1982, p. 467, Oxford University Press, New York.

Area-length-volume
1 acre = 43,560 ft2 = 4,047 m2
1 acre-foot = 1.2335 × 103 m3
1 cubic foot (ft3) = 0.02832 m3
1 hectare (ha) = 10,000 m2 = 2.47 acres
1 square mile (sq mi) = 2.59 × 106 m2
Pressure
1 atmosphere = 76.0 cm Hg = 1,013.25 millibars (mb)
1 bar = 0.98692 atmosphere
1 pascal (Pa) = 0.9869 × 10-5 atmosphere = 1 × 10-2 mb
= 10 microbars = 1.4504 × 10-4 pounds per square inch (psi)
1 millibar (mb) = 1 hectopascal (hPa) = 100 pascals (Pa)
Factors for carbon and carbon dioxide
1 mole C/liter = 12.011 × 10-3 Gt C/km3
1 ppm by volume of atmosphere CO2 = 2.13 Gt C
(Uses atmospheric mass (Ma) = 5.137 × 1018 kg)
1 mole CO2 = 44.009 g CO2 = 12.011 g C
1 g C = 0.083 mole CO2 = 3.664 g CO2

 

Table 4. Common Energy Unit Conversion Factors

J Quad kcal mtce boe mtoe m3gas TWyr
1 J = 1 947.9 × 10-21 239 × 10-6 34.14 × 10-12 163.4 × 10-12 22.34 × 10-12 26.84 × 10-9 31.71 × 10-21
1 Quad = 1055 × 1015 1 252 × 1012 36.02 × 106 172.4 × 106 23.57 × 106 28.32 × 109 33.45 × 10- 3
1 kcal = 4184 3966 × 10-18 1 142.9 × 10-9 683.8 × 10-9 93.47 × 10-9 112.3 × 10-6 132.7 × 10-18
1 mtce = 29.29 × 109 27.76 × 10-9 7 × 106 1 4.786 0.6543 786.1 928.7 × 10-12
1 boe = 6119 × 106 5.8 × 10-9 1462 × 103 0.2089 1 0.1367 164.2 194 × 10-12
1 mtoe = 44.76 × 109 42.43 × 10-9 10.7 × 106 1.528 7.315 1 1201 1419 × 10-12
1 m3gas = 37.26 × 106 35.31 × 10-12 8905 1272 × 10-6 6089 × 10-6 832.3 × 10-6 1 1181 × 10-15
1 Twyr = 31.54 × 1018 29.89 7537 × 1012 1076 × 106 5154 × 106 704.5 × 106 846.4 × 109 1

Notes: J = Joule; Quad = Quadrillion BTU (British thermal unit); kcal = kilogram calorie; mtce = metric ton of coal equivalent; boe = barrel of oil equivalent; mtoe = metric ton of oil equivalent; m3gas = cubic meter of natural gas; Twyr = terawatt-year

From: Clark, W. C. (ed.). 1982. Carbon Dioxide Review: 1982, p. 468, Oxford University Press, New York.

 

Table 5. Geologic Time Scales

Era Period Epoch Beginning
(Millions Years
Before Present)
Cenozoic Quarternary Recent (Holocene) 0.01
Pleistocene 2-3
Tertiary Pliocene 5
Miocene 25
Oligocene 37
Eocene 54
Paleocene 65
Mesozoic Cretaceous 135
Jurassic 190
Triassic 225
Paleozoic Permian 280
Carboniferous 345
Devonian 400
Silurian 440
Ordovician 500
Cambrian 570
Precambrian >570

 

Table 6. Factors and Units for Calculating Annual CO2 Emissions Using Global Fuel Production Data

Formula: CO2i = (Pi)(FOi)(Ci) with all masses in metric tons (103 kg).

Source: Marland, G. and R. M. Rotty. 1983. Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Fossil Fuels: A Procedure for Estimation and Results for 1950-1981, DOE/NBB-0036, TR003, U. S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C.

 

From Coal Production
CO2s  =  CO2 emissions in 106 tons C
Ps  =  Annual production in 106 tons coal equivalent (± approx. 11.2%)
FOs  =  Effective fraction oxidized in year of production = 0.982 ± 2%
Cs  =  Carbon content in tons C per ton coal equivalent = 0.746 ± 2%
(The 0.746 value includes a heating value adjustment to recognize that the carbon content, developed on a higher heating value basis,must be increased when used with UN production data based on"net" or lower heating values.)
From Natural Gas Production
CO2g  =  CO2 emissions in 106 tons C
Pg  =  Annual production in thousands of 1012 joules (± approx. 10%)
FOg  =  Effective fraction oxidized in year of production = 0.98 ± 1%
Cg  =  Carbon content in 106 tons C per thousand 1012 joules = 0.0137 ± 2%
From Natural Gas Flaring
CO2f  =  CO2 emissions in 106 tons C
Pf  =  Annual gas flaring in 109 cubic meters (± approx. 20%)
FOf  =  Effective fraction oxidized in year of flaring = 1.00 ± 1%
Cf  =  Carbon content in tons C per thousand cubic meters = 0.525 ± 3%
From Crude Oil and Natural Gas Liquids Production
2l  =  CO2 emissions in 106 tons C
Pl  =  Annual production in 106 tons (± approx. 8%)
FOl  =  Effective fraction oxidized in year of production = 0.918 ± 3%
Cl  =  Carbon content in tons C per ton crude oil = 0.85 ± 1%

 

Contents taken from Glossary: Carbon Dioxide and Climates, 1990. ORNL/CDIAC-39, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Acronyms and abbreviations can be found in the Acronyms and Abbreviations list.

A carbon dioxide-related glossary can be found in the Glossary list.