Articles | Volume 13, issue 21
Research article
07 Nov 2013
Research article |  | 07 Nov 2013

Refined estimate of China's CO2 emissions in spatiotemporal distributions

M. Liu, H. Wang, H. Wang, T. Oda, Y. Zhao, X. Yang, R. Zang, B. Zang, J. Bi, and J. Chen

Abstract. Being the largest contributor to the global source of fossil-fuel CO2 emissions, China's emissions need to be accurately quantified and well understood. Previous studies have usually focused on the amount of national emissions and rarely discussed their spatiotemporal distributions, which are also crucial for both carbon flux and carbon management. In this study, we calculated China's CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and industrial processes using provincial statistics and then mapped those emissions at 0.25° resolution on a monthly basis. Several key steps have been implemented to gain a better understanding of the spatiotemporal distributions, including (1) development and application of China's CO2 emission inventories using provincial statistics; (2) separate calculations of emissions from large point sources and accurate identification of their geographical locations; (3) development of 1 km × 1 km gridded population and GDP (gross domestic product) data for China from 2000 to 2009 and application of them as dynamic spatial proxies to allocate emissions; and (4) monthly variation curves of CO2 emissions from various sectors that were developed for each province and applied to our inventory. China's total CO2 emission from fossil fuels and industrial processes has increased from 3.6 billion tons in 2000 to 8.6 billion tons in 2009, which may be off by 14–18% and is enough to skew global totals. The resulting spatiotemporal distributions of our inventories also differed greatly in several ways from those derived using a national statistics and population-based approach for the various economic development levels, industrial and energy structures, and even large point emission sources within China and each province.

Final-revised paper