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Urban-focused satellite CO2 observations from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3: A first look at the Los Angeles megacity

Abstract : NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) was designed to support the quantification and monitoring of anthropogenic CO 2 emissions. Its Snapshot Area Map (SAM) and target mode measurements provide an innovative dataset for carbon studies on sub-city scales. Unlike any other current space-based instrument, OCO-3 has the ability to scan large contiguous areas of emission hot spots like cities, power plants, and volcanoes. These measurements result in dense, fine-scale spatial maps of column averaged dry-air mole fractions of carbon dioxide (X CO 2). For the first time, we present and analyze X CO 2 distributions over the Los Angeles megacity (LA) derived from OCO-3 SAM and target mode observations. Urban X CO 2 enhancements range from 0 − 6 ppm (median enhancements ≃ 2 ppm) relative to a clean background and show excellent agreement with nearby ground-based TCCON measurements of X CO 2. OCO-3's dense observations reveal intra-urban variations of X CO 2 over the city that have never been observed from space before. The spatial variations are mainly driven by the complex fossil fuel emission patterns and meteorological conditions in the LA Basin and are in good agreement with those from co-located TROPOMI measurements of co-emitted NO 2. Differences between measured and simulated X CO 2 enhancements from two models (WRF-Chem and X-STILT) are typically below 1 ppm with larger differences for some sub regions. Both models capture the observed intra-urban X CO 2 gradients. Further, OCO-3's multi-swath measurements capture about three times as much of the city emissions compared to single-swath overpasses. OCO-3's frequent target and SAM mode observations will pave the way to constrain urban emissions at finer, sub-city scales.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 21, 2021 - 8:47:57 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 6:06:10 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, August 22, 2021 - 6:16:08 PM


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Matthäus Kiel, Annmarie Eldering, Dustin Roten, John Lin, Sha Feng, et al.. Urban-focused satellite CO2 observations from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3: A first look at the Los Angeles megacity. Remote Sensing of Environment, Elsevier, 2021, 258, pp.112314. ⟨10.1016/j.rse.2021.112314⟩. ⟨insu-03231646⟩



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