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Title: Long-term urban carbon dioxide observations reveal spatial and temporal dynamics related to urban characteristics and growth

Abstract

Cities are concentrated areas of CO2 emissions and have become the foci of policies for mitigation actions. However, atmospheric measurement networks suitable for evaluating urban emissions over time are scarce. Here we present a unique long-term (decadal) record of CO2 mole fractions from five sites across Utah’s metropolitan Salt Lake Valley. We examine “excess” CO2 above background conditions resulting from local emissions and meteorological conditions. We ascribe CO2 trends to changes in emissions, since we did not find longterm trends in atmospheric mixing proxies. Three contrasting CO2 trends emerged across urban types: negative trends at a residentialindustrial site, positive trends at a site surrounded by rapid suburban growth, and relatively constant CO2 over time at multiple sites in the established, residential, and commercial urban core. Analysis of populationwithin the atmospheric footprints of the different sites reveals approximately equal increases in population influencing the observed CO2, implying a nonlinear relationshipwith CO2 emissions: Population growth in rural areas that experienced suburban development was associated with increasing emissions while population growth in the developed urban core was associated with stable emissions. Four state-of-the-art global-scale emission inventories also have a nonlinear relationship with population density across the city; however, in contrast to our observations,more » they all have nearly constant emissions over time. Our results indicate that decadal scale changes in urban CO2 emissions are detectable through monitoring networks and constitute a valuable approach to evaluate emission inventories and studies of urban carbon cycles.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ; ; ; ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER). Earth and Environmental Systems Science Division
OSTI Identifier:
1423734
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1425443; OSTI ID: 1425455
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0010624; FG02-04ER63904; SC0005236; SC0010625
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Journal Volume: 115 Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Mitchell, Logan E., Lin, John C., Bowling, David R., Pataki, Diane E., Strong, Courtenay, Schauer, Andrew J., Bares, Ryan, Bush, Susan E., Stephens, Britton B., Mendoza, Daniel, Mallia, Derek, Holland, Lacey, Gurney, Kevin R., and Ehleringer, James R. Long-term urban carbon dioxide observations reveal spatial and temporal dynamics related to urban characteristics and growth. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1702393115.
Mitchell, Logan E., Lin, John C., Bowling, David R., Pataki, Diane E., Strong, Courtenay, Schauer, Andrew J., Bares, Ryan, Bush, Susan E., Stephens, Britton B., Mendoza, Daniel, Mallia, Derek, Holland, Lacey, Gurney, Kevin R., & Ehleringer, James R. Long-term urban carbon dioxide observations reveal spatial and temporal dynamics related to urban characteristics and growth. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1702393115.
Mitchell, Logan E., Lin, John C., Bowling, David R., Pataki, Diane E., Strong, Courtenay, Schauer, Andrew J., Bares, Ryan, Bush, Susan E., Stephens, Britton B., Mendoza, Daniel, Mallia, Derek, Holland, Lacey, Gurney, Kevin R., and Ehleringer, James R. Mon . "Long-term urban carbon dioxide observations reveal spatial and temporal dynamics related to urban characteristics and growth". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1702393115.
@article{osti_1423734,
title = {Long-term urban carbon dioxide observations reveal spatial and temporal dynamics related to urban characteristics and growth},
author = {Mitchell, Logan E. and Lin, John C. and Bowling, David R. and Pataki, Diane E. and Strong, Courtenay and Schauer, Andrew J. and Bares, Ryan and Bush, Susan E. and Stephens, Britton B. and Mendoza, Daniel and Mallia, Derek and Holland, Lacey and Gurney, Kevin R. and Ehleringer, James R.},
abstractNote = {Cities are concentrated areas of CO2 emissions and have become the foci of policies for mitigation actions. However, atmospheric measurement networks suitable for evaluating urban emissions over time are scarce. Here we present a unique long-term (decadal) record of CO2 mole fractions from five sites across Utah’s metropolitan Salt Lake Valley. We examine “excess” CO2 above background conditions resulting from local emissions and meteorological conditions. We ascribe CO2 trends to changes in emissions, since we did not find longterm trends in atmospheric mixing proxies. Three contrasting CO2 trends emerged across urban types: negative trends at a residentialindustrial site, positive trends at a site surrounded by rapid suburban growth, and relatively constant CO2 over time at multiple sites in the established, residential, and commercial urban core. Analysis of populationwithin the atmospheric footprints of the different sites reveals approximately equal increases in population influencing the observed CO2, implying a nonlinear relationshipwith CO2 emissions: Population growth in rural areas that experienced suburban development was associated with increasing emissions while population growth in the developed urban core was associated with stable emissions. Four state-of-the-art global-scale emission inventories also have a nonlinear relationship with population density across the city; however, in contrast to our observations, they all have nearly constant emissions over time. Our results indicate that decadal scale changes in urban CO2 emissions are detectable through monitoring networks and constitute a valuable approach to evaluate emission inventories and studies of urban carbon cycles.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1702393115},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 12,
volume = 115,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1702393115

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 10 works
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Salt Lake Valley carbon dioxide measurement network. Time series show hourly averaged CO2 mole fractions (blue) and the background CO2 mole fractions derived from Carbon Tracker and the HDP site (black, SI-Appendix). Population density is superimposed on the map and the black outline indicates Salt Lake County.

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