21 Mar 2022
21 Mar 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Insights on estimating urban CO2 emissions using eddy-covariance flux measurements

Kyung-Eun Min1, Junphil Mun1, Begie Perdigones1, Soojin Lee1, and Kyung-Hwan Kwak2 Kyung-Eun Min et al.
  • 1School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju, 61005, Korea
  • 2School of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, 24341, Korea

Abstract. Living in an era of government allocated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, knowing the accurate amount of human-induced CO2 becomes very critical. To this end, an in-depth understanding of CO2 emissions in urban areas where human activities are concentrated will be of practical help. With this motivation, we quantify CO2 emission strengths of individual urban activities (i.e. vehicle, industry, heat generation, etc.) based on direct observations of vertical CO2 exchanges at urban-atmosphere interface using Eddy-Covariance (EC) method at Gwangju, Korea (2017.11–2018.08). Day of week difference analysis, together with varying wind sector, grounded from carefully designed measurement set-up, enables us to assess CO2 emission factors (EFs) free from seasonal bias (i.e. heating and urban vegetation); evaluated EFs of traffic from day of week difference was 0.017(±0.011) μmol m-2 s-1 car-1 which is more than 10 times larger than that from simple relation (0.0012 ± 0.0011 μmol m-2 s-1 car-1) between CO2 flux and traffic counts. The CO2 emissions due to the car manufacturing industry within the fetch and heating when air temperatures were lower than 18 °C were quantified as 103.25(±42.18) μmol m-2 s-1 and 2.41(±1.71) μmol m-2 s-1 °C-1, respectively. Urban vegetation uptake was estimated as -1.72 kg C m-2 yr-1 only with EFs traffic inferred from day of week difference indicating possible erroneous estimation in simple relation unless it properly reflects representative seasonal changes in a year. Even though our estimations are conservative EFs due to limitations in corrections of horizontal seepage and vertical storage, we found that both EFs for traffic and heat in latest emission inventory were more than 2.5 times lower than our estimations which indicate the urgency in bottom-up inventory validations.

Kyung-Eun Min et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-205', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Apr 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-205', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 May 2022 reply

Kyung-Eun Min et al.

Kyung-Eun Min et al.


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Short summary
For knowing the accurate amount of human-induced CO2, emission strengths of individual activities were assessed via direct eddy-covariance observations at urban-atmosphere interface. This work extracted emission factors (EFs) with minimized seasonal effects through day of the week difference with varying wind sectors. Our work urges the need for not only emission inventory validation but also seasonal bias free EFs estimations for establishing effective climate mitigation strategies.