CO2 Fluxes and Concentrations in a Residential Area in the Southern Hemisphere

Friday, 19 December 2014
Lena Francesca Weissert1, Jennifer A Salmond1, Jocelyn C Turnbull2 and Luitgard Schwendenmann1, (1)University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, (2)GNS Science / Rafter Radiocarbon, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
While cities are generally major sources of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, recent research has shown that parts of urban areas may also act as CO2 sinks due to CO2 uptake by vegetation. However, currently available results are related to a large degree of uncertainty due to the limitations of the applied methods and the limited number of studies available from urban areas, particularly from the southern hemisphere. In this study, we explore the potential of eddy covariance and tracer measurements (13C and 14C isotopes of CO2) to quantify and partition CO2 fluxes and concentrations in a residential urban area in Auckland, New Zealand.

Based on preliminary results from autumn and winter (March to July 2014) the residential area is a small source of CO2 (0.11 mol CO2 m-2 day-1). CO2 fluxes and concentrations follow a distinct diurnal cycle with a morning peak between 7:00 and 9:00 (max: 0.25 mol CO2 m-2 day-1/412 ppm) and midday low with negative CO2 fluxes (min: -0.17 mol CO2 m-2 day-1/392 ppm) between 10:00 and 15:00 local time, likely due to photosynthetic CO2 uptake by local vegetation. Soil CO2 efflux may explain that CO2 concentrations increase and remain high (401 ppm) throughout the night. Mean diurnal winter δ13C values are in anti-phase with CO2 concentrations and vary between -9.0 - -9.7‰. The depletion of δ13C compared to clean atmospheric air (-8.2‰) is likely a result of local CO2 sources dominated by gasoline combustion (appr. 60%) during daytime. A sector analysis (based on prevailing wind) of CO2 fluxes and concentrations indicates lower CO2 fluxes and concentrations from the vegetation-dominated sector, further demonstrating the influence of vegetation on local CO2 concentrations.

These results provide an insight into the temporal and spatial variability CO2 fluxes/concentrations and potential CO2 sinks and sources from a city in the southern hemisphere and add valuable information to the global database of urban CO2 fluxes.