Atmosphere-based estimates of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions for the U.S. derived from 14CO2 during 2009-2012.
Thursday, 18 December 2014: 8:30 AM
Atmospheric measurements of trace gases with ‘known’ emissions provide a means to derive emission magnitudes of other simultaneously measured trace gases, provided sources are co-located and co-varying. Here we consider atmospheric mixing ratio covariations in the fossil fuel derived component of observed CO2 (Cff; derived from high-precision measurements of the radiocarbon fraction of atmospheric CO2) relative to more than 20 other anthropogenic trace gases including CO, CH4, N2O, SF6, and halo- and hydro-carbons over large industrialized land areas. Pairing Cff with boundary-layer concentration enhancements of these gases allows us to determine apparent emission ratios for each gas with respect to Cff. When combined with sample-specific model-derived spatial footprints and the relatively accurate U.S. inventory of fossil fuel emissions (i.e., estimated uncertainty of ±10%), absolute emission rates for the correlate gases are derived. Here we will present U.S. annual emission magnitudes for select gases based on year-round measurements from tall towers and aircraft profiling sites in California, Texas, the mid-west, south-east and north-east for the 2009-2012 period. Statistically significant and coherent spatial and seasonal patterns in emission ratios and absolute emissions are determined for many gases based on these measurements. For HFC-134a and HCFC-22, results derived with this approach generally agree very well with an independent Bayesian-inversion based analysis of the larger number of samples collected and analyzed in our network, but that are not paired with Cff measurements. We believe this approach provides reliable 'top down', observationally-based emission estimates for these gases, many of which influence climate, air quality and stratospheric ozone.