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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2018-131
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2018-131
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  30 Nov 2018

30 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

A global map of emission clumps for future monitoring of fossil fuel CO2 emissions from space

Yilong Wang1, Philippe Ciais1, Grégoire Broquet1, François-Marie Bréon1, Tomohiro Oda2,3, Franck Lespinas1, Yasjka Meijer4, Armin Loescher4, Greet Janssens‑Maenhout5, Bo Zheng1, Haoran Xu6, Shu Tao6, Diego Santaren1, and Yongxian Su7 Yilong Wang et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ-Université Paris Saclay, 91191, Gif-sur-Yvette CEDEX, France
  • 2Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 3Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD, USA
  • 4European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk, the Netherlands
  • 5European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate Sustainable Resources, via E. Fermi 2749 (T.P. 123), 21027 Ispra, Italy
  • 6Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 7Key Lab of Guangdong for Utilization of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System, Guangdong Open Laboratory of Geospatial Information Technology and Application, Guangzhou Institute of Geography, Guangzhou 510070, China

Abstract. A large fraction of fossil fuel CO2 emissions occur within “hotspots”, such as cities and power plants, which cover a very small fraction of the land surface. Although some of these emission hotspots are monitored closely, there is no detailed emission inventory for most of them. Space-borne imagery of atmospheric CO2 has the potential to provide independent estimates of CO2 emissions from hotspots. But first, what is a hotspot needs to be defined for the purpose of satellite observations. The proposed space-borne imagers with global coverage planned for the coming decade have a pixel size on the order of a few square kilometers, and a XCO2 accuracy and precision of <1ppm for individual pixels. This resolution and precision is insufficient to provide a cartography of emissions for each individual pixel. Rather, the integrated emission of the diffuse emitting area and the intense point sources are sought. In this study, we address the question of the global characterization of area and point fossil fuel CO2 emitting sources (those hotspots are called emission clumps hereafter) that may cause coherent XCO2 plumes in space-borne CO2 images. An algorithm is proposed to identify emission clumps worldwide, based on the ODIAC global high resolution 1 km fossil fuel emission data product. The clump algorithm selects the major urban areas from a GIS (geographic information system) file and two emission thresholds. The selected urban areas and a high emission threshold are used to identify clump cores such as inner city areas or large power plants. A low threshold and a random walker (RW) scheme are then used to aggregate all grid cells contiguous to cores in order to define a single clump. With our definition of the thresholds, which are appropriate for a space imagery with 0.5ppm precision for a single XCO2 measurement, a total of 11,314 individual clumps, with 5,088 area clumps and 6,226 point-source clumps (power plants), are identified. These clumps contribute 72% of the global fossil fuel CO2 emissions according to the ODIAS inventory. The emission clumps is a new tool for comparing fossil fuel CO2 emissions from different inventories, and objectively identifying emitting areas that have a potential to be detected by future global satellite imagery of XCO2. The emission clump data product is distributed from https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.7217726.v1.

Yilong Wang et al.
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Short summary
We address the question of the global characterization of fossil fuel CO2 emission hotspots that may cause coherent XCO2 plumes in space-borne CO2 images, based on the ODIAC global high resolution 1 km fossil fuel emission data product. For a space imagery with 0.5 ppm precision for a single XCO2 measurement, a total of 11,314 hotspots are identified, covering 72% of the global emissions. These hotspots define the targets for the purpose of monitoring fossil fuel CO2 emissions from space.
We address the question of the global characterization of fossil fuel CO2 emission hotspots that...
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