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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-282
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-282
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  18 May 2020

18 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Estimating CH4, CO2, and CO emissions from coal mining and industrial activities in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin using an aircraft-based mass balance approach

Alina Fiehn1, Julian Kostinek1, Maximilian Eckl1, Theresa Klausner1, Michał Gałkowski2,3, Jinxuan Chen2, Christoph Gerbig2, Thomas Röckmann4, Hossein Maazallahi4, Martina Schmidt5, Piotr Korbeń5, Jarosław Nȩcki3, Pawel Jagoda3, Norman Wildmann1, Christian Mallaun6, Rostyslav Bun7,8, Anna-Leah Nickl1, Patrick Jöckel1, Andreas Fix1, and Anke Roiger1 Alina Fiehn et al.
  • 1Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie (MPI-BGC), Jena, Germany
  • 3Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland
  • 4Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 5Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 6Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR), Flugexperimente, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 7Department of Applied Mathematics, Lviv Polytechnic National University, Ukraine
  • 8Faculty of Applied Sciences, WSB University, Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland

Abstract. A severe reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is necessary to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The implementation and continuous evaluation of mitigation measures requires regular independent information on emissions of the two main anthropogenic greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Our aim is to employ an observation-based method to determine regional-scale greenhouse gas emission estimates with high accuracy. We use aircraft- and ground-based in situ observations of CH4, CO2, carbon monoxide (CO), and wind speed from two research flights over the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB), Poland, in summer 2018. The flights were performed as a part of the Carbon Dioxide and Methane (CoMet) mission above this European CH4 emission hot spot region. A kriging algorithm interpolates the observed concentrations between the downwind transects of the trace gas plume and then the mass flux through this plane is calculated. Finally, statistic and systematic uncertainties are calculated from measurement uncertainties and through several sensitivity tests, respectively.

For the two selected flights, the in situ derived annual CH4 emission estimates are 13.8 ± 3.6 kg/s and 15.1 ± 3.0 kg/s, which is well within the range of emission inventories. The regional emission estimates of CO2, which were determined to be 1.21 ± 0.72 t/s and 1.12 ± 0.37 t/s, are in the lower range of emission inventories. CO mass balance emissions of 10.1 ± 3.2 kg/s and 10.7 ± 2.9 kg/s for the USCB are slightly higher than the emission inventory values. The CH4 emission estimate has a relative error of 21–26 %, the CO2 estimate of 33–60 %, and the CO estimate of 27–32 %. These errors mainly result from the uncertainty of atmospheric background mole fractions and the changing planetary boundary layer height during the morning flight. In the case of CO2, biospheric fluxes also add to the uncertainty and hamper the assessment of emission inventories. These emission estimates characterize the USCB and help to verify emission inventories and develop climate mitigation strategies.

Alina Fiehn et al.

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Short summary
A severe reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is necessary to fulfill the Paris Agreement. We use aircraft- and ground-based in situ observations of trace gases and wind speed from two flights over the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, Poland, for independent emission estimation. The derived methane emission estimates are within the range of emission inventories, carbon dioxide estimates are in the lower range and carbon monoxide emission estimates are slightly higher than emission inventory values.
A severe reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is necessary to fulfill the Paris Agreement. We...
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