Constraining regional greenhouse gas emissions using geostationary concentration measurements: a theoretical study

Rayner, P. J.; Utembe, S. R.; Crowell, S.

We investigate the ability of column-integrated trace gas measurements from a geostationary satellite to constrain surface fluxes at regional scale. The proposed GEOCARB instrument measures CO 2, CO and CH 4 at a maximum resolution of 3 km east–west × 2.7 km north–south. Precisions are 3 ppm for CO 2, 10 ppb for CO and 18 ppb for CH 4. Sampling frequency is flexible. Here we sample a region at the location of Shanghai every 2 daylight hours for 6 days in June. We test the observing system by calculating the posterior uncertainty covariance of fluxes. We are able to constrain urban emissions at 3 km resolution including an isolated power plant. The CO measurement plays the strongest role; without it our effective resolution falls to 5 km. Methane fluxes are similarly well estimated at 5 km resolution. Estimating the errors for a full year suggests such an instrument would be a useful tool for both science and policy applications.

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Rayner, P. J. / Utembe, S. R. / Crowell, S.: Constraining regional greenhouse gas emissions using geostationary concentration measurements: a theoretical study. 2014. Copernicus Publications.

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