Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-1022
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-1022

  20 Dec 2017

20 Dec 2017

Review status: this preprint was under review for the journal ACP but the revision was not accepted.

Constraining fossil fuel CO2 emissions from urban area using OCO-2 observations of total column CO2

Xinxin Ye1, Thomas Lauvaux1, Eric A. Kort2, Tomohiro Oda3, Sha Feng1, John C. Lin4, Emily Yang2, and Dien Wu4 Xinxin Ye et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16803, USA
  • 2Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 48109, USA
  • 3Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Universities Space Research Association/Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, 20706, USA
  • 4Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 84132, USA

Abstract. Expanding urban populations and the significant contribution of cities to global fossil-fuel CO2 (CO2ff) emissions emphasize the necessity of achieving independent and accurate quantifications of the emissions from urban area. In this paper, we assess the utility of total column dry air CO2 mole fraction (XCO2) data retrieved from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) observations to quantify CO2ff emissions from cities. Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) are implemented by forward modeling of meteorological fields and column XCO2. The impact of transport model errors on the inverse emissions estimates is examined for two “plume cities” (Riyadh, Cairo) and a “basin city” (Los Angeles metropolitan region, LA). The pseudo data experiments indicate convergence of emission uncertainties related to transport model errors with increasing amount of observations. The 1-σ uncertainty of emission estimates is constrained to approximately 15 %/5 % with about 10 pseudo tracks for plume city/basin city. The systematic wind speed biases in simulated wind fields for LA lead to overestimations in total CO2ff emission, which require data assimilation to improve high-resolution atmospheric transport. The contribution of biogenic fluxes gradients in urban and rural area of Pearl River Delta metropolitan region in China are examined by simulations with biospheric fluxes imposed by the Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) from multiple terrestrial biosphere models, which show about 24 ± 21 % (1σ) and 19 ± 15 % (1σ) contributions to the total XCO2 enhancements for the two cases examined. The representations of transport model errors for the emission optimization are examined for Riyadh, Cairo and LA ¬in real cases. The determination of background XCO2 is discussed for LA by using constant and simulated background with biospheric fluxes included, demonstrating the need of careful consideration of the variations in background XCO2 for identifying concentration enhancements due to fossil fuel emissions.

Xinxin Ye et al.

 
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Status: closed
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Xinxin Ye et al.

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Short summary
Rapid global urbanization and significant fossil fuel consumption by cities emphasize the necessity of achieving independent and accurate quantification of the carbon emissions from urban areas. In this paper, we assess the potential of using total column CO2 concentration observed from satellite to quantify fossil-fuel carbon emissions from cities. This study could give insights into the capability of satellite observations on monitoring of the emissions on local scale.
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