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I was trying to collect some data related to climate change and air quality. I came across a dataset of CO2 emissions in India. When I opened the dataset, it showed the units as gm/tkm. Can someone shed some light on how to understand this measurement in transportation data?

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The number of grams of CO2 emitted per transported kilometer and per ton of material transported. I'm assuming metric tons (1000 kg).

They do not just look at the distance but also at the mass of the transported goods, as they should be.

Two notes:

  • Some if these numbers apply to category Passenger. Nothing wrong with specifying this per ton either, but not so practical, because you will have to calculate back to number of passengers for practical purposes - you don't design a railroad car for a mass of passengers.

  • Comparing Rail/Freight = 29 g/kmt with Rail/Passenger = 75 g/kmt makes me wonder where the difference comes from - a ton of passengers weighs the same as a ton of coal. It's probably the extra mass you have to carry along in the form of the carriage(s) - you can't pack passengers as dense as coal.

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