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Assessing fossil fuel CO2 emissions in California using atmospheric observations and models

TitleAssessing fossil fuel CO2 emissions in California using atmospheric observations and models
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGraven H, Fischer M.L, Lueker T., Jeong S., Guilderson T.P, Keeling RF, Bambha R., Brophy K., Callahan W., Cui X., Frankenberg C., Gurney K.R, LaFranchi B.W, Lehman S.J, Michelsen H., Miller J.B, Newman S., Paplawsky W, Parazoo N.C, Sloop C., Walker S.J
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Date Published2018/06
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1748-9326
Accession NumberWOS:000433908600002
Keywordsatmospheric; california; Carbon dioxide; combustion; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; fluxes; fossil fuel emissions; inversion; los-angeles megacity; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; radiocarbon; system; united-states

Analysis systems incorporating atmospheric observations could provide a powerful tool for validating fossil fuel CO2 (ffCO(2)) emissions reported for individual regions, provided that fossil fuel sources can be separated from other CO2 sources or sinks and atmospheric transport can be accurately accounted for. We quantified ffCO(2) by measuring radiocarbon (C-14) in CO2, an accurate fossil-carbon tracer, at nine observation sites in California for three months in 2014-15. There is strong agreement between the measurements and ffCO(2) simulated using a high-resolution atmospheric model and a spatiotemporally-resolved fossil fuel flux estimate. Inverse estimates of total in-state ffCO(2) emissions are consistent with the California Air Resources Board's reported ffCO(2) emissions, providing tentative validation of California's reported ffCO(2) emissions in 2014-15. Continuing this prototype analysis system could provide critical independent evaluation of reported ffCO(2) emissions and emissions reductions in California, and the system could be expanded to other, more data-poor regions.

Short TitleEnviron. Res. Lett.
Student Publication: