A very high-resolution (1 km×1 km) global fossil fuel CO2 emission inventory derived using a point source database and satellite observations of nighttime lights
Abstract. Emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion are a critical quantity that must be accurately given in established flux inversion frameworks. Work with emerging satellite-based inversions requires spatiotemporally-detailed inventories that permit analysis of regional natural sources and sinks. Conventional approaches for disaggregating national emissions beyond the country and city levels based on population distribution have certain difficulties in their application. We developed a global 1 km×1 km annual fossil fuel CO2 emission inventory for the years 1980–2007 by combining a worldwide point source database and satellite observations of the global nightlight distribution. In addition to estimating the national emissions using global energy consumption statistics, emissions from point sources were estimated separately and were spatially allocated to exact locations indicated by the point source database. Emissions from other sources were distributed using a special nightlight dataset that had fewer saturated pixels compared with regular nightlight datasets. The resulting spatial distributions differed in several ways from those derived using conventional population-based approaches. Because of the inherent characteristics of the nightlight distribution, source regions corresponding to human settlements and land transportation were well articulated. Our distributions showed good agreement with a high-resolution inventory across the US at spatial resolutions that were adequate for regional flux inversions. The inventory can be extended to the future using updated data, and is expected to be incorporated into models for operational flux inversions that use observational data from the Japanese Greenhouse Gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT).