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Original Research Papers

The space and time impacts on U.S. regional atmospheric CO2 concentrations from a high resolution fossil fuel CO2 emissions inventory

Authors:

Katherine D. Corbin ,

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, AU
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A. Scott Denning,

Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, US
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Kevin R. Gurney

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, US
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Abstract

To improve fossil fuel CO2 emissions estimates, high spatial and temporal resolution inventories are replacing coarse resolution, annual-mean estimates distributed by population density. Because altering the emissions changes a key boundary condition to inverse-estimated CO2 fluxes, it is essential to analyse the atmospheric impacts of redistributing anthropogenic emissions. Using a coupled ecosystem–atmosphere model, we compare 2004 atmospheric CO2 concentrations resulting from coarse and high-resolution inventories. Using fossil fuel CO2 emissions inventories with coarse spatial and temporal resolution creates spatially coherent biases in the atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The largest changes occur from using seasonally varying emissions: in heavily populated areas along the west coast and the eastern United States, the amplitude of the near-surface CO2 concentration seasonal cycle changed by >10 ppm, with higher concentrations in summer and lower concentrations in fall. Due to changes in the spatial distribution, spatially coherent annualmean concentration differences >6 ppm occur; and including the diurnal cycle causes changes >3 ppm. To avoid significant errors in CO2 source and sink estimates from atmospheric inversions, it is essential to include seasonality in fossil fuel emissions, as well as to utilize higher-resolution, process-based spatial distributions.

How to Cite: Corbin, K.D., Denning, A.S. and Gurney, K.R., 2010. The space and time impacts on U.S. regional atmospheric CO2 concentrations from a high resolution fossil fuel CO2 emissions inventory. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 62(5), pp.506–511. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2010.00480.x
  Published on 01 Jan 2010
 Accepted on 21 Jun 2010            Submitted on 29 Dec 2009

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