NASA satellite offers urban carbon dioxide insights

University of Utah

CO2 measurements from OCO-2 in parts per million over Las Vegas on Feb. 8, 2018.  Credit: Dien Wu/University of Utah

CO2 measurements from OCO-2 in parts per million over Las Vegas on Feb. 8, 2018. Credit: Dien Wu/University of Utah

A new NASA/university study of carbon dioxide emissions for 20 major cities around the world provides the first direct, satellite-based evidence that as a city’s population density increases, the carbon dioxide it emits per person declines, with some notable exceptions. The study also demonstrates how satellite measurements of this powerful greenhouse gas can give fast-growing cities new tools to track carbon dioxide emissions and assess the impact of policy changes and infrastructure improvements on their energy efficiency.

Cities account for more than 70% of global carbon dioxide emissions associated with energy production, and rapid, ongoing urbanization is increasing their number and size. But some densely populated cities emit more carbon dioxide per capita than others.

To better understand why, atmospheric scientists Dien Wu and John Lin of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City teamed with colleagues at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. They calculated per capita carbon dioxide emissions for 20 urban areas on several continents using recently available carbon dioxide estimates from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, managed by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Cities spanning a range of population densities were selected based on the quality and quantity of OCO-2 data available for them. Cities with minimal vegetation were preferred because plants can absorb and emit carbon dioxide, complicating the interpretation of the measurements. Two U.S. cities were included–Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Many scientists and policymakers have assumed the best way to estimate and understand differences in carbon dioxide emissions in major cities is to employ a “bottom-up” approach, compiling an inventory of fossil fuel emissions produced by industrial facilities, farms, road transport and power plants. The bottom-up method was the only feasible approach before remote sensing data sets became available. This approach can provide estimates of emissions by fuel type (coal, oil, natural gas) and sector (power generation, transportation, manufacturing) but can miss some emissions, especially in rapidly developing urban areas.

But for this study, researchers instead employed a “top-down” approach to inventory emissions, using satellite-derived estimates of the amount of carbon dioxide present in the air above an urban area as the satellite flies overhead.

“Other people have used fuel statistics, the number of miles driven by a person or how big people’s houses are to calculate per capita emissions,” Lin said. “We’re looking down from space to actually measure the carbon dioxide concentration over a city.”

Published Feb. 20 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study found that cities with higher population densities generally have lower per capita carbon dioxide emissions, in line with previous bottom-up studies based on emissions inventories. But the satellite data provided new insights.

“Our motivating question was essentially: When people live in denser cities, do they emit less carbon dioxide? The general answer from our analysis suggests, yes, emissions from denser cities are lower,” said Eric Kort, principal investigator and associate professor of climate and space sciences and engineering at the University of Michigan. “It isn’t a complete picture, since we only see local direct emissions, but our study does provide an alternative direct observational assessment that was entirely missing before.”

The density factor

Scientists have hypothesized that more densely-populated urban areas generally emit less carbon dioxide per person because they are more energy efficient: that is, less energy per person is needed in these areas because of factors like the use of public transportation and the efficient heating and cooling of multi-family dwellings. Satellite data can improve our understanding of this relationship because they describe the combined emissions from all sources. This information can be incorporated with more source-specific, bottom-up inventories to help city managers plan for more energy-efficient growth and develop better estimates of future carbon dioxide emissions.

The OCO-2 data show that not all densely-populated urban areas have lower per capita emissions, however. Cities with major power generation facilities, such as Yinchuan, China, and Johannesburg, had higher emissions than what their population density would otherwise suggest.

“The satellite detects the carbon dioxide plume at the power plant, not at the city that actually uses the power,” Lin said.

“Some cities don’t produce as much carbon dioxide, given their population density, but they consume goods and services that would give rise to carbon dioxide emissions elsewhere,” Wu added.

Another exception to the higher population density/lower emissions observation is affluence. A wealthy urban area, like Phoenix, produces more emissions per capita than a developing city like Hyderabad, India, which has a similar population density. The researchers speculate that Phoenix’s higher per capita emissions are due to factors such as higher rates of driving and larger, better air-conditioned homes.

Looking ahead

The researchers stress there’s much more to be learned about urban carbon dioxide emissions. They believe new data from OCO-2’s successor, OCO-3–which launched to the International Space Station last year–along with future space-based carbon dioxide-observing missions, may shed light on potential solutions to mitigating cities’ carbon emissions.

“Many people are interested in carbon dioxide emissions from large cities,” Wu said. “Additionally, there are a few places with high emissions that aren’t necessarily related to population. Satellites can detect and quantify emissions from those locations around the globe.”

Launched in 2014, OCO-2 gathers global measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide–the principal human-produced driver of climate change–with the resolution, precision and coverage needed to understand how it moves through the Earth system and how it changes over time. From its vantage point in space, OCO-2 makes roughly 100,000 measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide over the globe every day. JPL manages OCO-2 for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

While OCO-2 wasn’t optimized to monitor carbon emissions from cities or power plants, it can observe these targets if it flies directly overhead or if the observatory is reoriented to point in their direction. In contrast, OCO-3, which has been collecting daily measurements of carbon dioxide since last summer, features an agile mirror-pointing system that allows it to capture “snapshot maps.” In a matter of minutes, it can create detailed mini-maps of carbon dioxide over areas of interest as small as an individual power plant to a large urban area up to 2,300 square miles (6,400 square kilometers), such as the Los Angeles Basin, something that would take OCO-2 several days to do.

For more information on OCO-2 and OCO-3, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/oco2

https://ocov3.jpl.nasa.gov/

###

78 thoughts on “NASA satellite offers urban carbon dioxide insights

  1. “To better understand why, atmospheric scientists Dien Wu and John Lin of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City teamed with colleagues at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. They calculated per capita carbon dioxide emissions for 20 urban areas on several continents using recently available carbon dioxide estimates from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, managed by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Cities spanning a range of population densities were selected based on the quality and quantity of OCO-2 data available for them. Cities with minimal vegetation were preferred because plants can absorb and emit carbon dioxide, complicating the interpretation of the measurements. Two U.S. cities were included–Las Vegas and Phoenix.”

    All that data and all that math and all that rocket science with the assumption but without the evidence that atmospheric composition is responsive to fossil fuel emissions or that the rate of warming is responsive to cumulative emissions. Two links below ….

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/16/agw-issues/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/08/remainingcarbonbudget/

    • RE: “….this powerful greenhouse gas….
      Their powerful, unsubstantiated bias could not be more in evidence.

      • The study (CO2 emissions) also demonstrates how satellite measurements of this powerful greenhouse gas …….

        “YUP”, …. I durn near stopped reading after encountering their above asinine claim.

  2. As shown in a previous post on October 14, 2017, CIO2 the NASA Satellite Carbon Dioxide Observatory monitoring service could be used for something much more useful like volcanic eruption prediction.
    Sentences like “Cities with minimal vegetation were preferred because plants can absorb and emit carbon dioxide” reveals some very bizarre thinking going on. Let’s get the priorities sorted out first.

    • Re: ‘cities with minimal vegetation preferred’ – let’s not take the risk of finding inconveniently complex real world data that wouldn’t fit the premise we are looking for. After all, when you are dealing with such a “powerful greenhouse gas”, the less you are distracted by the facts, the easier it is to stay on point.

      • Exactly. They didn’t have a hypothesis with testable predictions, they had a “motivating question”.

        Their motivation is to prove that we all need to be packed into cramped quarters because …climate change. Whatever it takes to gin up some “evidence”, that’s where they’re going.

        • I agree Rich – see this post from 2012:

          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/15/co2-police-can-now-be-equipped-to-rat-out-cities/#comment-831845

          Billy Liar says: May 15, 2012 at 11:47 am
          Take a look at the observed Rose Park data in SLC:
          http://co2.utah.edu/index.php?site=2&id=0&img=30

          Thank you Billy.

          This daily CO2 data profile is very interesting.

          Please examine the Daily CO2 and Weekly CO2 tabs for all measurement stations.
          These are current CO2 readings taken in May 2012.

          Peak CO2 readings (typically ~470ppm) occur during the night, from midnight to ~8am, and drop to ~400 ppm during the day.

          1. I assume that human energy consumption (and manmade CO2 emissions) occur mainly during the day, and peak around breakfast and supper times.

          2. I suggest that the above atmospheric CO2 readings, taken in semi-arid Salt Lake City with a regional population of about 1 million, are predominantly natural in origin.

          IF points 1 and 2 are true, then this urban CO2 generation by humankind is insignificant compared to natural daily CO2 flux, in the same way that (I have previously stated) annual humanmade CO2 emissions are insignificant compared to seasonal CO2 flux.

          http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4

          IF these results are typical of most urban environments (many of which have much larger populations, but also have much greater area, precipitation and plant growth), then the hypothesis that human combustion of fossil fuels is the primary driver of increased atmospheric CO2 seems untenable. Humanmade CO2 emissions are lost in the noise of the much larger natural system, and most humanmade CO2 emissions are probably locally sequestered.

          There may be some large urban areas (perhaps in China) where concentrated human activities overwhelm natural CO2 daily flux, but on a global scale these areas are miniscule. In winter, when plant growth is minimal, concentrated human activities may also overwhelm natural CO2 daily flux.

          These observations, if correct, suggest that human combustion of fossil fuels is NOT the primary driver of atmospheric CO2.

          These observations are consistent with my 2008 paper, which notes that CO2 lags temperature at all measured time sales.
          http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

          In what has become “mainstream climate science”, there are many inconsistencies that have been resolved by data fabrication and contortions of logic.

          There appears to be a much simpler explanation. Temperature primarily drives atmospheric CO2, not the reverse.
          ___________

          Occam’s razor (also written as Ockham’s razor, Latin lex parsimoniae) is the law of parsimony, economy or succinctness. It is a principle urging one to select among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions and thereby offers the simplest explanation of the effect.

          Uniformitarianism is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe, have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe.

          • I have not seen the data, but it wouldn’t be surprising that CO2 levels in May in Salt Lake City would be higher during late night that during daylight hours.

            According to historical averages, the average high for the day in May in Salt Lake City is 71 F, average low is 52 F, with 2.1 inches of rain for the month. The Rose Park neighborhood is relatively low-income and flat topography, with small single-family homes and small apartment complexes, frequently containing only two or four apartments per building. Most yards in Rose Park have several trees growing, which would be in leaf during May, and growing rapidly due to ample spring rainfall.

            On a typical day in May, some homes may be heated during late-night or early morning hours (when temperatures are coolest), but such heating would not be needed during daylight hours on most days. Trees would remove CO2 by photosynthesis during daylight hours, but would be dormant at night. There are five oil refineries within a few miles north of Salt Lake City, but their emissions would not vary much between day and night.

            The overall area around Salt Lake City may have a “semi-arid” climate, but there is a lot of local variation. Salt Lake City is along the southeast shore of the Great Salt Lake, and at the northern end of a valley extending about 20 miles to the south and about 15 miles wide east-west, bounded by the Oquirrh Mountains to the west and the Wasatch Mountains to the east.

            During autumn and winter, the Wasatch Mountains receive “lake-effect snow” on northwest winds blowing across the Great Salt Lake behind cold fronts, most of which melts in spring and washes into the valley, so much of the Wasatch Mountains have evergreen forests on their north- and west-facing slopes. The Oquirrh Mountains to the west receive much less rainfall, and are mostly barren in summer. The wettest months in the valley are March, April, and May, while the rains usually end in early June, and the summer is very dry. The early settlers in this area dug many irrigation ditches to channel water from fresh-water Utah Lake to the south to farms in the valley, so that the valley is surprisingly green, with many large deciduous trees, and the eastern side is greener than the western side, which is mostly grassland.

            May is not a “typical month” in the Salt Lake valley, since it is warm enough for trees to have leaves, but still has ample rainfall to keep them growing rapidly. The trees remain in leaf through October, but their growth is probably slower in July and August than in May or October, due to the lack of rainfall. There is no need to heat homes during the summer, but nearby power plants would probably have higher CO2 emissions to keep up with electricity demands for air conditioning.

            During late fall and winter, homes need to be heated, but the trees are mostly dormant. There are also frequent “thermal inversions” during light winds in winter, when cold air can be trapped in the valley by the mountains, and pollutants tend to be more concentrated than during windy days. Early spring can be rainy, but the trees generally put out their leaves in early to mid-April.

            It is difficult to generalize data from an atypical month in an atypical city to what might happen in other cities which might have different natural climates, which may be less affected by nearby topography than Salt Lake City.

          • Allan

            I have set up a number of labs around the planet and during the equipment checks, have performed uncounted measurements of ambient CO2. It is rare to find an urban reading of only 410 ppm. Further there is a strong diurnal variation that is seasonal as well. The highest I measured was just about 1100 ppm in the north end of Ulaanbaatar as the overnight emissions from heating stoves rises out of the valley as it warms in the sun (from -30 to -15). It is coming to see 600-800 ppm for several hours at a time.

            In SW Jakarta I have never seen a value below 500. The breeze is from the ocean to the NW, typically, and rises above 800 ppm. During the day it is typically 525-650 ppm the entire time.

            Obviously I just happen to build labs where there is a great deal of CO2 from human and natural sources – right? Alternatively, the “average value everywhere” is a crock. The actual concentration varies a great deal and it is easy to put this to a useful purpose. If the CO2 is 800 ppm anywhere for a few hours, there should be a detectable level of back-radiation because according to theory, doubling will cause a strong, detectable change.

            Maybe the urban heat island is really a heat signature of CO2. It is worth finding out.

          • Hi Crispin.

            As I recall, Ernst Beck summarized similar very high CO2 concentrations.

            I do’t think UHI is primarily caused by CO2, but that is just my best guess. I think it is more likely due to other human drivers – pavement, heating, waste heat, etc.

      • What effect does dessert weather patterns have since they sel6 selected for this variable? Does LA hav lots of vegetation? Why not use it? New York?

  3. CO2 is not a powerful greenhouse gas. There is a density problem, though.
    ( CFCs are powerful greenhouse gases made illegally in China)

    • Actually the most powerful “greenhouse” gases are Nitrogen & Oxygen.
      Because they do Not radiate LWIR and cool the Atmosphere even though they are at the same temperature as CO2 etc.

      • How do gases not interacting with LWIR become “green house gases” according to you new system?

        • Greg, didn’t he explain it – they do not radiate LWIR (to space) and cool the atmosphere.

          They ‘absorb’ energy from the surface by convection, but have low radiating power and have to transfer significant energy to radiatively more active gases (H2O, CO2…), which radiate the energy to space.

    • “satellite measurements of this powerful greenhouse gas ”

      Right, the concentration of these gases can have not detectable effect, particularly as they are always colder than the surface and thus cannot warm the surface.

      They fabricated the idea of “greenhouse” gas, as CO2 and water vapor are actually radiative gases and serve, in sunlight, to intercept incoming radiation and redirect half of what they intercept to space. During the night, CO2 only has a -80ºC absorption band, which means it is constantly activated and emitting this IR to space, thus cooling the atmosphere.

      CFCs are also not doing anything, another thing they made up as their absorption spectra are lousy and also they are always colder than the surface and thus cannot warm the surface (I cannot say that often enough, it seems). Do n o one find it odd that anything we emit is automatically a horrible “greenhouse” gas of untold proportions?

  4. “The study also demonstrates how satellite measurements of this powerful greenhouse gas[CO2]…….”

    Powerful, really? This is supposed to be scientifically credible?

    • Powerful because more of it makes plants grow more vigorously with less water & fertilizer. MORE CO2 PLEASE!!

    • Indeed, MrGrimNasty!

      “since we only see local direct emissions, but our study does provide an alternative direct observational assessment that was entirely missing before.”

      Allegedly they are measuring wavelength emissions from CO₂ in order to allegedly estimate CO₂ emissions.
      CO₂ only has one miniscule infrared frequency range where CO₂ is not overwhelmed by other atmospheric infrared emitters; e.g. H₂O.

      1) Exactly how does the satellite differentiate atmospheric infrared emissions from thermally warmed non atmospheric surfaces?

      2) Are these alleged researchers claiming they are receiving CO₂ direct infrared emissions at satellite altitude from the Earth’s surface?

      CO₂ caused CAGW cancelled!
      These researchers just proved that CO₂ easily emits to space without atmospheric interference.

      These researchers purposely used Las Vegas and Phoenix to avoid H₂O emissions.
      Ignoring Las Vegas’s use of fountains and water spray to cool locales and which also raises Las Vegas humidity
      Also ignoring Phoenix’s famous golf courses and their watered surfaces.

      • ATheoK – March 8, 2020 at 11:06 am

        1) Exactly how does the satellite differentiate atmospheric infrared emissions from thermally warmed non atmospheric surfaces?

        My learned opinion, …… there is no way in hell that the operators of satellite sensors can determine either the EXACT source, ….. the EXACT quantity ….. or the source’s EXACT altitude of the IR radiation that is detected by said sensors.

        If the earth’s surface radiates IR at all frequencies, there is no way of knowing whether or not an atmospheric CO2 or H2O molecule absorbed and re-emitted a portion of said IR.

        Atmospheric CO2 does not function like a “brick wall” that all surface radiated IR has to blast its way through to get to outer space.

        Iffen the satellites are so wonderful and great at measuring the quantity of atmospheric CO2, …… then why in hell do the bother with Mauna Loa and dozens of other similar labs?

  5. What this study really shows is that an anomaly of 409 ppm CO2, against a background of 405 ppm CO2, is totally meaningless and of no consequence. Thank you NASA.

    By the way, Las Vegas and Phoenix, both multi-million population cities, are really sprawled out, and are without substantial concentrations of high-rise apartment buildings. The opposite of sprawled out would be something like Buenos Aires, Argentina, where, in major sectors of the city, if all the people came down from large apartment buildings, there would not be space for them in the streets and few parks.

    • Exactly, splitting hairs of this nature TOTALLY meaningless!

      Can I get my tax money back please?

    • Having worked on a NASA remote sensing project for the city of Scottsdale, I can assure everyone that there is plenty of vegetation in the Phoenix Metro area. It has one of the highest number of golf courses in the world. The area was formerly home to commercial citrus groves, so many of the homes have remnant citrus trees in the yards. There are also many parks and greenbelts with grass and trees. Even the undeveloped areas have significant native vegetation such as palo verde and creosote. Interestingly, the creosote can be difficult to distinguish from asphalt pavement because of the large shadow component of the ‘mixed pixels’ of multispectral imagery, and the lack of Near-IR reflectance from the small leaves. There is probably more vegetation in Phoenix than in New York City, exclusive of Central Park.

    • Although true, it’s not entirely accurate.
      The population is about 1-1/2 million in Vegas, but they had 42.1 million visitors in 2018. Most of whom stay in the high-rise hotels around downtown.

      All cities have sprawl, some are just able to spread their wings more than others.

      The irony is they’re now trying to convince us that .4% of a trace gas (.004% total) that is .041% of the atmosphere is going to make a difference.

  6. …cities with higher population densities generally have lower per capita carbon dioxide emissions…

    So let’s cram everyone into government high rise apartments and bulldoze single family housing out of existence. Permits to travel, have children, and live longer than 65 years soon to follow.

    • Here in Germany, the Green party spoke about banning one family houses in the future.
      Our son, studying city-planning, told us, one family houses are out of the agenda.

      • Soon the Greens will be ruling Germany together with recycled Communists in die Linke – who as per a recent rally publicly and to applause proposed shooting the so called 1%.

  7. I read as far as the words, “this powerful greenhouse gas”, in the first paragraph.

  8. You would think CO2 was a poison. Does it cause cancer or retard plant growth or something?

  9. Where is the evidence that CO2 is a powerful greenhouse gas. According to fans of this idea: methane is 110 times more ‘powerful’. Plus: the whole concept of a greenhouse gas effect is still in dispute.

    If such an extreme effect existed, it would show up even in a laboratory experiment involving concentrated CO2 as a thermal conductivity anomaly. It would manifest itself as a new kind of ‘superinsulation’ violating the conventional heat conduction equation. However, for CO2 such anomalous heat transport properties never have been observed.

    — Gerlich & Tscheuschner, 2007, “Falsification of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame of Physics

    • Thanks for that link, Mark.

      I liked this part:

      “The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that many authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier (1824), Tyndall (1861), and Arrhenius (1896), and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation.”

      Just about everything in Human-caused climate change science is taken for granted. The science, even of the basic greenhouse effect is not settled, much less what CO2 does in the atmosphere.

      To proclaim that some weather event is caused by CO2 is not supported by anthing in the scientific literature, yet we have untold numbers of alarmist taking it all for granted, assuming they are actually seeing the effects of CO2 in real time.

      Delusional is the only way to describe such people. They are seeing what they want/expect to see, not what is really there.

      • I don’t have a link to this and forget where I got it, but it’s very interesting. If anyone knows the source, plesae tell me.

        “Fourier, putatively the father of the “Greenhouse Effect” says something quite different in the text of his work (Fourier, 1824; Fourier, 1827; Burgess, 1837). Tyndall (1861), who first proposes the radiation trap on which the “Greenhouse Effect” is based, not only misquotes Fourier but bases his own heat transfer theory on the assumption of luminiferous aether – an idea Fourier implIed might change substantially. Moreover, Tyndall confused opacity and absorption, in spite of the significant visible reflection presented by chlorine gas – which he examined. This is perhaps because he neglected to consider gaseous reflection of wavelengths outside the visible spectrum. Tyndall is celebrated as the scientist who proved the “Greenhouse Effect” when in actual fact, his work on the infrared absorption of gases failed to address absorption as opposed to opacity. Moreover, his speculations on climate were hypothetical and rooted in his own aethereal heat transfer mechanism, which was refuted in 1887.)

  10. The calculation of CO2 emitted per person is going to be complicated. It’s not like you can divide 405 ppm by 1 and get the emissions due to a lonely rancher in southwest Saskatchewan.

    The more complicated the calculation, the less trustworthy it is. ie. it’s much easier to hide the cooking of the results.

    If you look at NASA’s map of global CO2 distribution, it’s apparent that cities aren’t a big deal. Many of the places with the highest CO2 concentration have zero industry.

    • NASA CO2 maps. WUWT

      Side comment: It’s often way easier to find things on WUWT than trying to ferret them out with general google searches. In this case the google search was:

      nasa co2 map site:wattsupwiththat.com

      If you know that what you want is on a particular web site, you can really improve the signal to noise ratio by using the above trick.

      • Thanks for that, cB. I have a book about google search tips and tiicks. It’s full of all sorts of helpful advice like the tip you gave.

  11. …methane is 110 times more “powerful”….

    And we are never told how much methane will actually run up global temperatures.

  12. “ A wealthy urban area, like Phoenix, produces more emissions per capita than a developing city like Hyderabad, India, which has a similar population density. “

    Well that should have been obvious since wealth per capita is much higher in Phoenix. For the ecoterrorists, the solution they seem to want is to lower Phoenix residents’ standard of living to that of Hyderabad, rather than raise Hyderabad’s standard of living, a standard dependent on fossil fuel use.

    On another note, places like California, once the Marxists running things from Sacramento have finally shut down they last nuclear plant, and the last of their in-state natural gas fired generating stations, then at night they’ll be importing all their electricity from surrounding states and they can claim they are emissions free… along with rolling state-wide blackouts.

    • Electricity. That’s just what I see no proper discussion of in this article. How much electricity from elsewhere, outside the satellite measuring zone, is any one city consuming? It could be generated hundreds of miles away by unspecified technologies. To make generalized statements about a city’s emissions without knowing this seems like make-it-up-as-you-go-along science.

      • michael
        Furthermore, “The researchers speculate that Phoenix’s higher per capita emissions are due to factors such as higher rates of driving and larger, better air-conditioned homes.” Air conditioners use electricity, not fossil fuels! Phoenix obtains most of its electricity from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, 45 miles west of Phoenix. “The Palo Verde Generating Station is the largest power plant in the United States by net generation.” Once again, assumptions made with facts not in evidence, to support a PC research project.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palo_Verde_Nuclear_Generating_Station

  13. as cities populatin densities increse per capita CO2 emissions decline but only within that city.

    In face per capita emissions increase elsewhere.
    As with renewable energy, someone else always pays the carbon bill.

  14. What is the point of monitoring Urban CO2 emissions? The settled science has already determined that global CO2 Emissions must reach 1990 levels by 2050 or everyone dies.

    Since that reduction ain’t gonna happen (even the idiots in Germany and California won’t reach that goal), why continue wasting precious “End of Times” partying money?

  15. https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/arctic-sea-ice-icebreaker-trapped-resupplying-moasic/
    -30⁰C, SECOND RUSSIAN ICE CUTTER RESCUEING ANOTHER ICE CUTTER AND 40 CLIMATE RESEARCHERS!!!!!!!!
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51711127

    https://lnkd.in/edUAPXM
    #GlobalWarmingGroupsSettingFires
    #HumenAndAnimalsPerished
    #ArrestCriminalActivists
    #SaveMotherEarthFromCriminals
    #MeltingDeicingAreTwoDiffrentProcess #ShouldWePayTaxesForTheAirWeAreBreathing?
    #CO2GangsDistroyingMotherEarth
    #WorldBankAndEDCdoingTheirJOBS #DonotMixClimateWithEcnomicDevelopment
    #unep #unfccc #noaa #ipcc #pulitzerprize #nobelpeaceprizecommitte #350org #notco2 #nasa #cop26 #waterprize #stopsearisenow #globalcoastalstrategies #1000ppmCO2noproblem
    #ClimateKliptomania #ClimateHoax #ClimateStrike
    #airconditioningthemotherearth #ChallengingGlacialScintists
    #earthscieenceconferencecommitty #parisagreement
    RAVEENDRAN NARAYANAN

    • CO2 is not linearly as powerful as H2O for warming due to concentration yet it has been proposed to switch transportation to Hydrogen Fuel Cells whose byproduct (exhaust) is H2O

      • Mankind’s emissions of CO2 is <4% of natural emissions. Mankind's emissions of H2O is probably <0.01% of natural emissions, i.e. not significant at all.

  16. “…the carbon dioxide it emits per person declines….” Wait a minute, this is bogus. The CO2 doesn’t decrease, only the ratio decreases because the divisor is increasing. Also, the CO2 producing energy source locations are static and not in the cities. Any surprise that one of the first published uses of OCO-2 supports AGW? My only surprise is that it took them this long to manufacture something to support their bias.

  17. Just great, another dataset for alarmists to misrepresent and with which to tamper.

    Regards,
    Bob

  18. The notable exceptions are cities where the power plants used by the city are close to or inside the city.

    In other words, the other cities aren’t actually reducing CO2 emissions either, it’s just that in their cases, the power plants are far enough away to not be counted.

    • This is the comment I was going to add. Amazing how the CO2 level is less where electrical power is consumed and higher where it is generated.

  19. It’s a shame this method couldn’t be used to measure UHI, the most likely cause of all climate worry.

  20. Interesting attention-getting graph….showing higher CO2 levels in urban areas…..so why can’t a similar graph be made showing urban temperatures to enlighten everyone on UHI. ??

  21. I thought they just wanted to take away our freedom of movement and cheap energy for a decent standard of living – now they want to use CO2 to collectivise us as well. This molecule is awesome!

  22. OCO2 produced 30 very detailed global images and were available on 15.4.2016 on the NASA OCO2 website. They covered more than a full year and were more detailed and enlightening than the ones refereed to by Commiebob above. Only one report was ever written using these images, by myself, that told a different story of the carbon cycle. The images have never been referred to by any website including this one.

    All that detailed information on such an important topic passed everyone by. The problem was that they didn’t fit what everyone thought or believed was happening. Those images are not available anymore from the NASA website. I wonder if I am the only one that has a copy of the original high definition ones.
    Regards

    • Martin
      Part of the problem with the global OCO-2 data is that they are very noisy. Clouds are a particular problem, leaving gaps in the measurements. The first report, given at AGU, looked nice but probably involved a lot more interpolation than was acknowledged.

  23. Speaking of Ozone
    In the NH Polar Cap region (>63N) we have significant and new parameters being set.

    Zonal wind speed between 45N to 75N at 70mb is at record high levels in the satellite era.
    https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/figures/merra2/wind/u45_75n_70_2019_merra2.pdf

    This is causing record minimum temperatures between the 50N to 90N region at 70mb.
    https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/figures/merra2/temperature/tminn_70_2019_merra2.pdf
    And at 60N to 90N zonal mean temperature.
    https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/figures/merra2/temperature/t60_90n_70_2019_merra2.pdf
    And therefore Polar cap ozone is at a record low, and a nice little Blozone Hole over the Polar cap (>63N)
    https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/Scripts/big_image.php?date=2020-03-06&hem=N&section=HOME
    https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/figures/ozone/to3capn_2019_toms+omi+omps.pdf
    And a new Polar Cap (>63N) Ozone minimum.
    https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/figures/ozone/to3minn_2019_toms+omi+omps.pdf

    Ozone, the least understood trace gas in our atmosphere.
    Regards

    Which in turn is causing record low ozone

  24. So the satellite covers the same area every 30 days. And is the Co2 level the same at 0600, 1200, 1730, and 2300?

    I doubt it.

    I seem to remember that the Co2 level in corn (maize) fields varies markedly as during the day the plants extract the gas from the atmosphere, but return it at night. Perhaps 1:4 relationship between day and night
    co2 levels.

    Perhaps not so much change in cities, but it you have an anticyclone sitting over a city, the gas level will be greatly different from when there is a strong wind off the ocean blowing.

  25. “The satellite detects the carbon dioxide plume at the power plant, not at the city that actually uses the power,” Lin said.
    “Some cities don’t produce as much carbon dioxide, given their population density, but they consume goods and services that would give rise to carbon dioxide emissions elsewhere,” Wu added.
    SO THEN WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS STUDY IS THIS CANNOT BE DETERMINED WHICH IT CANNOT
    Another exception to the higher population density/lower emissions observation is affluence. A wealthy urban area, like Phoenix, produces more emissions per capita than a developing city like Hyderabad, India, which has a similar population density. The researchers speculate that Phoenix’s higher per capita emissions are due to factors such as higher rates of driving and larger, better air-conditioned homes.
    NOTE THE WORD – SPECULATE SINCE THIS IS REALLY THE BOTTOM LINE HERE and don’t forget that most respiring animals and plants all produce CO2 until they die – must factor in this and that many cities get their electricity via nuclear energy – so where are the numbers and info. for this – I could go on and on – THEY GOT, ‘THE RESEARCHERS SPECULATE’ bit correct and I’d like to know if they even have knowledge of where Hyderabad in India obtain their electricity since most Indian cities are full of smog (which is not CO2) but where there’s smog there’s CO2

    and the public transport bit really – trains run on electricity – correct me if I’m wrong and so where are their stats for the electricity generation for all the public transport –
    why do we bother???

  26. OCO-2 data forms the basis for their mapping of what Finnish scientists say is human induced CO2. That mapping shows little or no CO2 at the locations of most large US cities. The CO2 shown on the mapping does correlate with the location of increased vegetation and in particular the locations of forests and woodlands containing broad leaf trees.

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