Global emissions inventories to aid atmospheric modelers



Computer projections of changes in global atmospheric chemistry could become more accurate and more easily compared with the availability of standard global emissions inventories. Starting in 1994, the Global Emissions Inventory Activity (GEIA) began to finalize gridded global emissions inventories and distribute them to atmospheric scientists. GEIA operates under the auspices of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project, a cooperative effort of several hundred atmospheric scientists from more than 30 countries. The purpose of the IGAC Project is to measure, understand, and predict changes in global atmospheric chemistry, particularly those contributing to global problems such as acid rain, depletion of stratospheric ozone, greenhouse warming, and increased oxidant levels that damage biota.

A 1992 survey by participants in the GEIA project [Graedel et al., 1993] showed that suitable emissions inventories are rarely available. The chlorofluorocarbon inventory, regarded as well quantified, was unavailable in gridded form. Inventories for CO2, CH4, NOx, SO2, reduced sulfur, and radon were regarded as having excess uncertainty, inadequate spatial resolution, or both; inventories for other chemical species were sketchy or nonexistent. Temporal resolution was almost uniformly poor. The survey made it clear that internally consistent, rigorously developed, gridded inventories with adequate spatial and temporal resolution would be valuable.