DOI: 10.3390/atmos15010011 ISSN: 2073-4433

Assessment of the Emission Characteristics of Major States in the United States using Satellite Observations of CO2, CO, and NO2

Anqi Xu, Chengzhi Xiang
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

By using space-based measurements of the column-averaged dry air mole fraction of carbon dioxide (XCO2) from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and CO and NO2 from the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI), this study investigates the seasonal variation in the characteristics of CO2, CO, and NO2 across major states in the United States. Beyond correlating these trends with natural factors, significant emphasis is placed on human activities, including heating demands, energy usage, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Concentration enhancements in observations influenced by anthropogenic emissions from urban regions relative to background values are calculated to estimate gas emissions. Our investigation reveals a strong correlation between NO2 and CO2 emissions, as evidenced by a correlation coefficient (r) of 0.75. Furthermore, we observe a correlation of 0.48 between CO2 and CO emissions and a weaker correlation of 0.37 between CO and NO2 emissions. Notably, we identify the NO2 concentration as a reliable indicator of CO2 emission levels, in which a 1% increase in NO2 concentration corresponds to a 0.8194% (±0.0942%) rise in annual mean CO2 emissions. Enhancement ratios among NO2, CO, and XCO2 are also calculated, uncovering that high ΔNO2: ΔXCO2 ratios often signify outdated industrial structures and production technologies, while low ΔCO: ΔXCO2 ratios are linked to states that utilize clean energy sources. This approach offers a deeper understanding of the effect of human activities on atmospheric gas concentrations, paving the way for more effective environmental monitoring and policy-making.

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