Atmospheric observation-based estimation of fossil fuel CO2 emissions from regions of central and southern California

Xinguang Cui, Sally Newman, Xiaomei Xu, Arlyn E. Andrews, John Miller, Scott Lehman, Seongeun Jeong, Jingsong Zhang, Chad Priest, Mixtli Campos-Pineda, Kevin Gurney, Heather Graven, John Southon, Marc L. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Combustion of fossil fuel is the dominant source of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere in California. Here, we describe radiocarbon (14CO2) measurements and atmospheric inverse modeling to estimate fossil fuel CO2 (ffCO2) emissions for 2009–2012 from a site in central California, and for June 2013–May 2014 from two sites in southern California. A priori predicted ffCO2 mixing ratios are computed based on regional atmospheric transport model (WRF-STILT) footprints and an hourly ffCO2 prior emission map (Vulcan 2.2). Regional inversions using observations from the central California site suggest that emissions from the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) are higher in winter and lower in summer. Taking all years together, the average of a total of fifteen 3-month inversions from 2009 to 2012 suggests ffCO2 emissions from SFBA were within 6 ± 35% of the a priori estimate for that region, where posterior emission uncertainties are reported as 95% confidence intervals. Results for four 3-month inversions using measurements in Los Angeles South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB) during June 2013–May 2014 suggest that emissions in SoCAB are within 13 ± 28% of the a priori estimate for that region, with marginal detection of any seasonality. While emissions from the SFBA and SoCAB urban regions (containing ~50% of prior emissions from California) are constrained by the observations, emissions from the remaining regions are less constrained, suggesting that additional observations will be valuable to more accurately estimate total ffCO2 emissions from California as a whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-391
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume664
DOIs
StatePublished - May 10 2019

Fingerprint

Fossil fuels
fossil fuel
Coastal zones
Air
Gas emissions
Greenhouse gases
coast
air
basin
urban region
atmospheric transport
footprint
mixing ratio
confidence interval
seasonality
greenhouse gas
combustion
atmosphere
winter

Keywords

  • Atmospheric inversion
  • ffco2 emissions
  • Radicocarbon
  • Seasonal variation
  • SFBA and SoCAB
  • Tower-based measurements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

Cite this

Atmospheric observation-based estimation of fossil fuel CO2 emissions from regions of central and southern California. / Cui, Xinguang; Newman, Sally; Xu, Xiaomei; Andrews, Arlyn E.; Miller, John; Lehman, Scott; Jeong, Seongeun; Zhang, Jingsong; Priest, Chad; Campos-Pineda, Mixtli; Gurney, Kevin; Graven, Heather; Southon, John; Fischer, Marc L.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 664, 10.05.2019, p. 381-391.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cui, X, Newman, S, Xu, X, Andrews, AE, Miller, J, Lehman, S, Jeong, S, Zhang, J, Priest, C, Campos-Pineda, M, Gurney, K, Graven, H, Southon, J & Fischer, ML 2019, 'Atmospheric observation-based estimation of fossil fuel CO2 emissions from regions of central and southern California', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 664, pp. 381-391. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.081
Cui, Xinguang ; Newman, Sally ; Xu, Xiaomei ; Andrews, Arlyn E. ; Miller, John ; Lehman, Scott ; Jeong, Seongeun ; Zhang, Jingsong ; Priest, Chad ; Campos-Pineda, Mixtli ; Gurney, Kevin ; Graven, Heather ; Southon, John ; Fischer, Marc L. / Atmospheric observation-based estimation of fossil fuel CO2 emissions from regions of central and southern California. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2019 ; Vol. 664. pp. 381-391.
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AU - Cui, Xinguang

AU - Newman, Sally

AU - Xu, Xiaomei

AU - Andrews, Arlyn E.

AU - Miller, John

AU - Lehman, Scott

AU - Jeong, Seongeun

AU - Zhang, Jingsong

AU - Priest, Chad

AU - Campos-Pineda, Mixtli

AU - Gurney, Kevin

AU - Graven, Heather

AU - Southon, John

AU - Fischer, Marc L.

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N2 - Combustion of fossil fuel is the dominant source of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere in California. Here, we describe radiocarbon (14CO2) measurements and atmospheric inverse modeling to estimate fossil fuel CO2 (ffCO2) emissions for 2009–2012 from a site in central California, and for June 2013–May 2014 from two sites in southern California. A priori predicted ffCO2 mixing ratios are computed based on regional atmospheric transport model (WRF-STILT) footprints and an hourly ffCO2 prior emission map (Vulcan 2.2). Regional inversions using observations from the central California site suggest that emissions from the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) are higher in winter and lower in summer. Taking all years together, the average of a total of fifteen 3-month inversions from 2009 to 2012 suggests ffCO2 emissions from SFBA were within 6 ± 35% of the a priori estimate for that region, where posterior emission uncertainties are reported as 95% confidence intervals. Results for four 3-month inversions using measurements in Los Angeles South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB) during June 2013–May 2014 suggest that emissions in SoCAB are within 13 ± 28% of the a priori estimate for that region, with marginal detection of any seasonality. While emissions from the SFBA and SoCAB urban regions (containing ~50% of prior emissions from California) are constrained by the observations, emissions from the remaining regions are less constrained, suggesting that additional observations will be valuable to more accurately estimate total ffCO2 emissions from California as a whole.

AB - Combustion of fossil fuel is the dominant source of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere in California. Here, we describe radiocarbon (14CO2) measurements and atmospheric inverse modeling to estimate fossil fuel CO2 (ffCO2) emissions for 2009–2012 from a site in central California, and for June 2013–May 2014 from two sites in southern California. A priori predicted ffCO2 mixing ratios are computed based on regional atmospheric transport model (WRF-STILT) footprints and an hourly ffCO2 prior emission map (Vulcan 2.2). Regional inversions using observations from the central California site suggest that emissions from the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) are higher in winter and lower in summer. Taking all years together, the average of a total of fifteen 3-month inversions from 2009 to 2012 suggests ffCO2 emissions from SFBA were within 6 ± 35% of the a priori estimate for that region, where posterior emission uncertainties are reported as 95% confidence intervals. Results for four 3-month inversions using measurements in Los Angeles South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB) during June 2013–May 2014 suggest that emissions in SoCAB are within 13 ± 28% of the a priori estimate for that region, with marginal detection of any seasonality. While emissions from the SFBA and SoCAB urban regions (containing ~50% of prior emissions from California) are constrained by the observations, emissions from the remaining regions are less constrained, suggesting that additional observations will be valuable to more accurately estimate total ffCO2 emissions from California as a whole.

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