Satellite-derived estimations of spatial and seasonal variation in tropospheric carbon dioxide mass over China

Authors

  • Yuyue Xu,

    1. Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
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  • Changqing Ke,

    Corresponding author
    1. Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
    • Correspondence

      Changqing Ke, Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, Jiangsu Province, China. Tel: +86 25 83592681; Fax: +86 25 89681182; E-mail: kecq@nju.edu.cn

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  • Juanle Wang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Jiulin Sun,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Yang Liu,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
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  • Warwick Harris,

    1. Landcare Research, Crown Research Institute, Lincoln, New Zealand
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  • Cheng Kou

    1. Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
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Abstract

China has frequently been questioned about the data transparency and accuracy of its energy and emission statistics. Satellite-derived remote sensing data potentially provide a useful tool to study the variation in carbon dioxide (CO2) mass over areas of the earth's surface. In this study, Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) tropospheric CO2 concentration data and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis tropopause data were integrated to obtain estimates of tropospheric CO2 mass variations over the surface of China. These variations were mapped to show seasonal and spatial patterns with reference to China's provincial areas. The estimates of provincial tropospheric CO2 were related to statistical estimates of CO2 emissions for the provinces and considered with reference to provincial populations and gross regional products (GRP). Tropospheric CO2 masses for the Chinese provinces ranged from 53 ± 1 to 14,470 ± 63 million tonnes were greater for western than for eastern provinces and were primarily a function of provincial land area. Adjusted for land area troposphere CO2 mass was higher for eastern and southern provinces than for western and northern provinces. Tropospheric CO2 mass over China varied with season being highest in July and August and lowest in January and February. The average annual emission from provincial energy statistics of CO2 by China was estimated as 10.3% of the average mass of CO2 in the troposphere over China. The relationship between statistical emissions relative to tropospheric CO2 mass was higher than 20% for developed coastal provinces of China, with Shanghai, Tianjin, and Beijing having exceptionally high percentages. The percentages were generally lower than 10% for western inland provinces. Provincial estimates of emissions of CO2 were significantly positively related to provincial populations and gross regional products (GRP) when the values for the provincial municipalities Shanghai, Tianjin, and Beijing were excluded from the linear regressions. An increase in provincial GRP per person was related to a curvilinear increase in CO2 emissions, this being particularly marked for Beijing, Tianjin, and especially Shanghai. The absence of detection of specific elevation of CO2 mass in the troposphere above these municipalities may relate to the rapid mixing and dispersal of CO2 emissions or the proportion of the depth of the troposphere sensed by GOSAT.

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