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Synthesis of Urban CO₂ Emission Estimates from Multiple Methods from the Indianapolis Flux Project (INFLUX)

Turnbull, Jocelyn C., Karion, Anna, Davis, Kenneth J., Lauvaux, Thomas, Miles, Natasha L., Richardson, Scott J., Sweeney, Colm, McKain, Kathryn, Lehman, Scott J., Gurney, Kevin R., Patarasuk, Risa, Liang, Jianming, Shepson, Paul B., Heimburger, Alexie, Harvey, Rebecca, Whetstone, James
Environmental science & technology 2018 v.53 no.1 pp. 287-295
carbon dioxide, cities, fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, inventories, monitoring, space and time, urban areas, winter, Indiana
Urban areas contribute approximately three-quarters of fossil fuel derived CO₂ emissions, and many cities have enacted emissions mitigation plans. Evaluation of the effectiveness of mitigation efforts will require measurement of both the emission rate and its change over space and time. The relative performance of different emission estimation methods is a critical requirement to support mitigation efforts. Here we compare results of CO₂ emissions estimation methods including an inventory-based method and two different top-down atmospheric measurement approaches implemented for the Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. urban area in winter. By accounting for differences in spatial and temporal coverage, as well as trace gas species measured, we find agreement among the wintertime whole-city fossil fuel CO₂ emission rate estimates to within 7%. This finding represents a major improvement over previous comparisons of urban-scale emissions, making urban CO₂ flux estimates from this study consistent with local and global emission mitigation strategy needs. The complementary application of multiple scientifically driven emissions quantification methods enables and establishes this high level of confidence and demonstrates the strength of the joint implementation of rigorous inventory and atmospheric emissions monitoring approaches.