Gridded Uncertainty Maps of Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide Emissions: A New Data Product

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Robert J Andres and Tom Boden, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, United States
With the publication of a new assessment of the uncertainty associated with the mass of fossil fuel carbon dioxide (FFCO2) emissions (2014, Tellus B, 66, 23616, doi:10.3402/tellusb.v66.23616), it is now possible to extend that work with a gridded map of fossil fuel emission uncertainties. The new data product was created to be paired with the long-used, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), emission year 1751-present, one degree latitude by one degree longitude (1x1) mass of emissions data product (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/epubs/ndp/ndp058/ndp058_v2013.html). Now, for the first time, data users will have FFCO2 emission information that represents both mass and uncertainty, each of which varies in both time and space.

The new data product was constructed by examining the individual uncertainties in each of the input data sets to the gridded mass maps and then combining these individual uncertainties into an overall uncertainty for the mass maps. The input data sets include a table of the mass of FFCO2 emissions by country and year, the one degree geographic map of emissions which includes changing borders on an annual time scale and ties the mass of emissions to location, and the one degree population proxy used to distribute the mass of emissions within each country. As the three input data sets are independent of each other, their combination for the overall uncertainty is accomplished by a simple square root of the sum of the squares procedure.

The resulting uncertainty data product is gridded at 1x1 and exactly overlays the 1x1 mass emission maps. The default temporal resolution is annual, but a companion product is also available at monthly time scales. The monthly uncertainty product uses the same input data sets, but the mass uncertainty is scaled as described in the monthly mass product description paper (2011, Tellus B, 63:309-327, doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0889.2011.00530.x). The gridded uncertainty maps cover emission year 1950 to 2010. The start year is determined by the mass uncertainty study which began its analysis in 1950. The end year reflects the latest emission year in the current CDIAC data set; as new years are added to the CDIAC data set, the uncertainty map time series can also be extended.