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Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change
Research Highlights

February 2018

New Historical Emissions Trends Estimated with the Community Emissions Data System (CEDS)

The data system will allow for more detailed, consistent, and up-to-date global emissions trends that will aid in understanding aerosol effects on Earth system processes.

Urban environment
Scientists are working to better understand how aerosols, including those that build up in the air from urban environments, affect the atmosphere and Earth system processes.

The Science

To better understand how aerosols affect the atmosphere and Earth system processes, historical emissions data are necessary as a key input for modeling and analyses.

A research team led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed a data system, the Community Emissions Data System, which has produced a new, robust data set covering the years 1750-2014 for carbonaceous aerosols, chemically reactive gases—which are precursors to aerosol particles—and carbon dioxide.

The Impact

Emissions data from different countries vary in methodology, level of detail, source coverage, and consistency across time and space. This project addressed the limitations of existing emission data inventories with a reproducible methodology applied to all emissions types, updated emissions factors, more recent estimates through 2014, and comprehensive documentation. The methodology facilitates transparency, regular updates, and the incorporation of improved information over time.

This new consistent methodology will facilitate uncertainty analyses, leading to improved scientific understanding of the role of aerosols in the atmosphere.

Summary

Country-to-country differences in compiling emissions data make it difficult to construct consistent time series of past emissions across regions. This new data set contains annual estimates of CO, CH4, NH3, NOx, SO2, NMVOC, carbonaceous aerosols, and carbon dioxide for the years 1750-2014 by country, fuel, and sector, along with seasonal data. Researchers developed these data with the Community Emissions Data System (CEDS). This system integrates population, energy consumption, and other economic driver data with national and global emissions inventory data to produce consistent emissions trends over time.

Key methodological developments include the use of open-source software and data, a consistent methodology for all emissions species, and the use of national inventory data sets. The CEDS software and data will be publicly available through an open-source repository to facilitate community involvement and improvement.

Acknowledgments

Sponsors: This research was based on work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research as part of the Earth System Modeling program. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP), award NNH15AZ64I, provided additional support for the development of the gridded data algorithm.

Research Area: Climate and Earth Systems Science

Research Team: Rachel M. Hoesly, Leyang Feng, Tyler Pitkanen, Jonathan J. Seibert, Linh Vu, Ryan M. Bolt, Nazar Kholod, Maria Cecilia P. Moura, and Patrick R. O'Rourke, PNNL (Joint Global Change Research Institute); Steven J. Smith, PNNL (JGCRI)/University of Maryland; Zbigniew Klimont, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria); Greet Janssens-Maenhout, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate Energy, Transport & Climate (Italy); Robert J. Andres, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Tami C. Bond and Liang Liu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Laura Dawidowski, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (Argentina); June-ichi Kurokawa, Japan Environmental Sanitation Center, Asia Center for Air Pollution Research, Atmospheric Research Department, Niigata (Japan); Meng Li and Qiang Zhang, Tsinghua University (China); and Zifeng Lu, Argonne National Laboratory

Reference: R.M. Hoesly, S.J. Smith, L. Feng, Z. Klimont, G. Janssens-Maenhout, T. Pitkanen, J.J. Seibert, L. Vu, R.J. Andres, R.M. Bolt, T.C. Bond, L. Dawidowski, N. Kholod, J. Kurokawa, M. Li, L. Liu, Z. Lu, M.C.P. Moura, P.R. O’Rourke, Q. Zhang, “Historical (1750–2014) Anthropogenic Emissions of Reactive Gases and Aerosols from the Community Emissions Data System (CEDS).” Geoscientific Model Development 11, 369-408 (2018). [DOI: 10.5194/gmd-11-369-2018]


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