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Title: Toward Verifying Fossil Fuel CO2 Emissions with the CMAQ Model: Motivation, Model Description and Initial Simulation

Motivated by the urgent need for emission verification of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, we have developed regional CO2 simulation with CMAQ over the contiguous U.S. Model sensitivity experiments have been performed using three different sets of inputs for net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and two fossil fuel emission inventories, to understand the roles of fossil fuel emissions, atmosphere-biosphere exchange and transport in regulating the spatial and diurnal variability of CO2 near the surface, and to characterize the well-known ‘signal-to-noise’ problem, i.e. the interference from the biosphere on the interpretation of atmospheric CO2 observations. It is found that differences in the meteorological conditions for different urban areas strongly contribute to the contrast in concentrations. The uncertainty of NEE, as measured by the difference among the three different NEE inputs, has notable impact on regional distribution of CO2 simulated by CMAQ. Larger NEE uncertainty and impact are found over eastern U.S. urban areas than along the western coast. A comparison with tower CO2 measurements at Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) shows that the CMAQ model using hourly varied and high-resolution CO2 emission from the Vulcan inventory and CarbonTracker optimized NEE reasonably reproduce the observed diurnal profile, whereas switching to different NEE inputs significantlymore » degrades the model performance. Spatial distribution of CO2 is found to correlate with NOx, SO2 and CO, due to their similarity in emission sources and transport processes. These initial results from CMAQ demonstrate the power of a state-of-the art CTM in helping interpret CO2 observations and verify fossil fuel emissions. The ability to simulate CO2 in CMAQ will also facilitate investigations of the utility of traditionally regulated pollutants and other species as tracers to CO2 source attribution.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47646; 600306000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, 64(4):419-435
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
FOSSILS; FUELS; EMISSION; SIMULATION fossil; fuel; CO2; emissions; CMAQ; model; description; simulation; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory