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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-80
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
04 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
The potential of satellite spectro-imagery for monitoring CO2 emissions from large cities
Grégoire Broquet1, François-Marie Bréon1, Emmanuel Renault1,a, Michael Buchwitz2, Maximilian Reuter2, Heinrich Bovensmann2, Frédéric Chevallier1, Lin Wu1, and Philippe Ciais1 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, UMR8212, IPSL, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
2Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen FB1, Otto Hahn Allee 1, 28334 Bremen, Germany
anow at: Service hydrographique et océanographique de la marine, 29228 Brest, France
Abstract. This study assesses the potential of 2 to 10 km resolution imagery of CO2 concentrations retrieved from the Short Wave Infra Red measurements of a space borne passive spectrometer for monitoring the spatially integrated emissions from the Paris area. Such imagery could be provided by missions similar to CarbonSat, which was studied as a candidate Earth Explorer 8 mission by the European Space Agency (ESA). This assessment is based on Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) with an atmospheric inversion approach at city scale. The inversion system solves for hourly city CO2 emissions and natural fluxes, or for these fluxes per main anthropogenic sector or ecosystem, during the 6 hours before a given satellite overpass. These 6 hours correspond to the period during which emissions produce CO2 plumes that can be identified on the image from this overpass. The statistical framework of the inversion accounts for the existence of some prior knowledge about the hourly emissions from an inventory based on energy use and carbon fuel consumption statistics. The link between the hourly or sectorial emissions and the vertically-integrated column of CO2 observed by the satellite is simulated using a coupled flux and atmospheric transport model. This coupled model is built with the information on the spatial and temporal distribution of emissions from the emission inventory produced by the local air-quality agency (Airparif) and a 2 km horizontal resolution atmospheric transport model. Tests are conducted for different realistic simulations of the spatial coverage, resolution, precision and accuracy of the imagery from sun-synchronous polar-orbing missions, corresponding to the specifications of CarbonSat and Sentinel-5 or extrapolated from these specifications. First, OSSEs are conducted with a rather optimistic configuration in which the inversion system is perfectly informed about the statistics of the limited number of error sources. These OSSEs indicate that the image resolution has to be finer than 4 km to decrease the uncertainty in the 6-hour mean emissions by more than 50 %. More complex experiments assess the impact of more realistic error estimates that current inversion methods do not properly account for, in particular the systematic measurement errors with spatially correlated patterns. These experiments highlight the difficulty to improve current knowledge on CO2 emissions for urban areas like Paris with CO2 observations from satellites, and call for more technological innovations in the remote sensing of vertically integrated columns of CO2 and in the inversion systems that exploit it.

Citation: Broquet, G., Bréon, F.-M., Renault, E., Buchwitz, M., Reuter, M., Bovensmann, H., Chevallier, F., Wu, L., and Ciais, P.: The potential of satellite spectro-imagery for monitoring CO2 emissions from large cities, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-80, in review, 2017.
Grégoire Broquet et al.
Grégoire Broquet et al.
Grégoire Broquet et al.

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Short summary
This study assesses the potential of space borne imagery of CO2 atmospheric concentrations for monitoring the emissions from the Paris area. Such imagery could be provided by European and American missions in the next decade. It highlights the difficulty to improve current knowledge on CO2 emissions for urban areas with CO2 observations from satellites, and call for more technological innovations in the remote sensing of CO2 and in the models that exploit it.
This study assesses the potential of space borne imagery of CO2 atmospheric concentrations for...
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