100 research outputs found

    Quantification and scenario analysis of CO2 emissions from the central heating supply system in China from 2006 to 2025

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    Policies associated with the central heating supply system affect the livelihoods of people in China. With the extensive consumption of energy for central heating, large quantities of CO2 emissions are produced each year. Coal-fired heating boiler plants are the primary source of emissions; however, thermal power plants are becoming much more prevalent, and gas-fired heating boiler plants remain uncommon. This study quantified the amount of CO2 emitted from the central heating supply system in China using a mass balance method with updated emission factors from the IPCC. Emissions increased from 189.04 Tg to 319.39 Tg between 2006 and 2015. From a spatial perspective, regions with larger central heating areas, durations and coverages produced more CO2 emissions. The central heating method depends on the level of electric power consumption, policies and regulations, and resource reserves at the local scale. Compared with the use of only coal-fired heating boiler plants to provide central heating, using thermal power plants and gas-fired heating boiler plants reduced CO2 emissions by 98.19 Tg in 2015 in China. A comparison of the CO2 emissions under various central heating scenarios showed that emissions will be 520.97 Tg, 308.79 Tg and 191.86 Tg for business as usual, positive and optimal scenarios through 2025, respectively. China has acknowledged the considerable potential for reducing central heating and will make efforts to pursue improved heating strategies in the future

    Implications of Future Water Use Efficiency for Ecohydrological Responses to Climate Change and Spatial Heterogeneity of Atmospheric CO2 in China

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    As the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increases substantially, the spatial distribution of atmospheric CO2 should be considered when estimating the effects of CO2 on the carbon and water cycle coupling of terrestrial ecosystems. To evaluate this effect on future ecohydrological processes, the spatial-temporal patterns of CO2 were established over 1951 - 2099 according to the IPCC emission scenarios SRES A2 and SRES B1. Thereafter, water use efficiency (WUE) was used (i.e., Net Primary Production/Evaportranspiration) as an indicator to quantify the effects of climate change and uneven CO2 fertilization in China. We carried out several simulated experiments to estimate WUE under different future scenarios using a land process model (Integrated Biosphere Simulator, IBIS). Results indicated that the geographical distributions of averaged WUE have considerable differences under a heterogeneous atmospheric CO2 condition. Under the SRES A2 scenario, WUE decreased slightly with a 5% value in most areas of the southeastern and northwestern China during the 2050s, while decreasing by approximately 15% in southeastern China during the 2090s. During the period of the 2050s under SRES B1 scenario, the change rate of WUE was similar with that under SRES A2 scenario, but the WUE has a more moderate decreasing trend than that under the SRES A2 scenario. In all, the ecosystems in median and low latitude areas had a weakened effect on resisting extreme climate event such as drought. Conversely, the vegetation in a boreal forest had an enhanced buffering capability to tolerate drought events

    The Global N20 Model Intercomparison Project

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    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas and also an ozone-depleting substance that has both natural and anthropogenic sources. Large estimation uncertainty remains on the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of N2O fluxes and the key drivers of N2O production in the terrestrial biosphere. Some terrestrial biosphere models have been evolved to account for nitrogen processes and to show the capability to simulate N2O emissions from land ecosystems at the global scale, but large discrepancies exist among their estimates primarily because of inconsistent input datasets, simulation protocol, and model structure and parameterization schemes. Based on the consistent model input data and simulation protocol, the global N2O Model Intercomparison Project (NMIP) was initialized with 10 state-of-the-art terrestrial biosphere models that include nitrogen (N) cycling. Specific objectives of NMIP are to 1) unravel the major N cycling processes controlling N2O fluxes in each model and identify the uncertainty sources from model structure, input data, and parameters; 2) quantify the magnitude and spatial and temporal patterns of global and regional N2O fluxes from the preindustrial period (1860) to present and attribute the relative contributions of multiple environmental factors to N2O dynamics; and 3) provide a benchmarking estimate of N2O fluxes through synthesizing the multimodel simulation results and existing estimates from ground-based observations, inventories, and statistical and empirical extrapolations. This study provides detailed descriptions for the NMIP protocol, input data, model structure, and key parameters, along with preliminary simulation results. The global and regional N2O estimation derived from the NMIP is a key component of the global N2O budget synthesis activity jointly led by the Global Carbon Project and the International Nitrogen Initiative

    Detecting One-Hundred-Year Environmental Changes in Western China Using Seven-Year Repeat Photography

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    Due to its diverse, wondrous plants and unique topography, Western China has drawn great attention from explorers and naturalists from the Western World. Among them, Ernest Henry Wilson (1876 –1930), known as ‘Chinese’ Wilson, travelled to Western China five times from 1899 to 1918. He took more than 1,000 photos during his travels. These valuable photos illustrated the natural and social environment of Western China a century ago. Since 1997, we had collected E.H. Wilson's old pictures, and then since 2004, along the expedition route of E.H. Wilson, we took 7 years to repeat photographing 250 of these old pictures. Comparing Wilson's photos with ours, we found an obvious warming trend over the 100 years, not only in specific areas but throughout the entire Western China. Such warming trend manifested in phenology changes, community shifts and melting snow in alpine mountains. In this study, we also noted remarkable vegetation changes. Out of 62 picture pairs were related to vegetation change, 39 indicated vegetation has changed to the better condition, 17 for degraded vegetation and six for no obvious change. Also in these photos at a century interval, we found not only rapid urbanization in Western China, but also the disappearance of traditional cultures. Through such comparisons, we should not only be amazed about the significant environmental changes through time in Western China, but also consider its implications for protecting environment while meeting the economic development beyond such changes

    Global wetland contribution to 2000-2012 atmospheric methane growth rate dynamics

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    Increasing atmospheric methane (CH4) concentrations have contributed to approximately 20% of anthropogenic climate change. Despite the importance of CH4 as a greenhouse gas, its atmospheric growth rate and dynamics over the past two decades, which include a stabilization period (1999–2006), followed by renewed growth starting in 2007, remain poorly understood. We provide an updated estimate of CH4 emissions from wetlands, the largest natural global CH4 source, for 2000–2012 using an ensemble of biogeochemical models constrained with remote sensing surface inundation and inventory-based wetland area data. Between 2000–2012, boreal wetland CH4 emissions increased by 1.2 Tg yr−1 (−0.2–3.5 Tg yr−1), tropical emissions decreased by 0.9 Tg yr−1 (−3.2−1.1 Tg yr−1), yet globally, emissions remained unchanged at 184 ± 22 Tg yr−1. Changing air temperature was responsible for increasing high-latitude emissions whereas declines in low-latitude wetland area decreased tropical emissions; both dynamics are consistent with features of predicted centennial-scale climate change impacts on wetland CH4 emissions. Despite uncertainties in wetland area mapping, our study shows that global wetland CH4 emissions have not contributed significantly to the period of renewed atmospheric CH4 growth, and is consistent with findings from studies that indicate some combination of increasing fossil fuel and agriculture-related CH4 emissions, and a decrease in the atmospheric oxidative sink

    Variability and quasi-decadal changes in the methane budget overthe period 2000–2012

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    Following the recent Global Carbon Project (GCP) synthesis of the decadal methane (CH4/ budget over 2000– 2012 (Saunois et al., 2016), we analyse here the same dataset with a focus on quasi-decadal and inter-annual variability in CH4 emissions. The GCP dataset integrates results from topdown studies (exploiting atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up models (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry), inventories of anthropogenic emissions, and data-driven approaches.The annual global methane emissions from top-down studies, which by construction match the observed methane growth rate within their uncertainties, all show an increase in total methane emissions over the period 2000–2012, but this increase is not linear over the 13 years. Despite differences between individual studies, the mean emission anomaly of the top-down ensemble shows no significant trend in total methane emissions over the period 2000–2006, during the plateau of atmospheric methane mole fractions, and also over the period 2008–2012, during the renewed atmospheric methane increase. However, the top-down ensemble mean produces an emission shift between 2006 and 2008, leading to 22 [16–32] Tg CH4 yr1 higher methane emissions over the period 2008–2012 compared to 2002–2006. This emission increase mostly originated from the tropics, with a smaller contribution from mid-latitudes and no significant change from boreal regions. The regional contributions remain uncertain in top-down studies. Tropical South America and South and East Asia seem to contribute the most to the emission increase in the tropics. However, these two regions have only limited atmospheric measurements and remain therefore poorly constrained. The sectorial partitioning of this emission increase between the periods 2002–2006 and 2008–2012 differs from one atmospheric inversion study to another. However, all topdown studies suggest smaller changes in fossil fuel emissions (from oil, gas, and coal industries) compared to the mean of the bottom-up inventories included in this study. This difference is partly driven by a smaller emission change in China from the top-down studies compared to the estimate in the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGARv4.2) inventory, which should be revised to smaller values in a near future. We apply isotopic signatures to the emission changes estimated for individual studies based on five emission sectors and find that for six individual top-down studies (out of eight) the average isotopic signature of the emission changes is not consistent with the observed change in atmospheric 13CH4. However, the partitioning in emission change derived from the ensemble mean is consistent with this isotopic constraint. At the global scale, the top-down ensemble mean suggests that the dominant contribution to the resumed atmospheric CH4 growth after 2006 comes from microbial sources (more from agriculture and waste sectors than from natural wetlands), with an uncertain but smaller contribution from fossil CH4 emissions. In addition, a decrease in biomass burning emissions (in agreement with the biomass burning emission databases) makes the balance of sources consistent with atmospheric 13CH4 observations. In most of the top-down studies included here, OH concentrations are considered constant over the years (seasonal variations but without any inter-annual variability). As a result, the methane loss (in particular through OH oxidation) varies mainly through the change in methane concentrations and not its oxidants. For these reasons, changes in the methane loss could not be properly investigated in this study, although it may play a significant role in the recent atmospheric methane changes as briefly discussed at the end of the paper.Published11135–111616A. Geochimica per l'ambienteJCR Journa

    The global methane budget 2000–2017

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    Understanding and quantifying the global methane (CH4) budget is important for assessing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. Atmospheric emissions and concentrations of CH4 continue to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-influenced greenhouse gas in terms of climate forcing, after carbon dioxide (CO2). The relative importance of CH4 compared to CO2 depends on its shorter atmospheric lifetime, stronger warming potential, and variations in atmospheric growth rate over the past decade, the causes of which are still debated. Two major challenges in reducing uncertainties in the atmospheric growth rate arise from the variety of geographically overlapping CH4 sources and from the destruction of CH4 by short-lived hydroxyl radicals (OH). To address these challenges, we have established a consortium of multidisciplinary scientists under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project to synthesize and stimulate new research aimed at improving and regularly updating the global methane budget. Following Saunois et al. (2016), we present here the second version of the living review paper dedicated to the decadal methane budget, integrating results of top-down studies (atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up estimates (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry, inventories of anthropogenic emissions, and data-driven extrapolations). For the 2008–2017 decade, global methane emissions are estimated by atmospheric inversions (a top-down approach) to be 576 Tg CH4 yr−1 (range 550–594, corresponding to the minimum and maximum estimates of the model ensemble). Of this total, 359 Tg CH4 yr−1 or ∼ 60 % is attributed to anthropogenic sources, that is emissions caused by direct human activity (i.e. anthropogenic emissions; range 336–376 Tg CH4 yr−1 or 50 %–65 %). The mean annual total emission for the new decade (2008–2017) is 29 Tg CH4 yr−1 larger than our estimate for the previous decade (2000–2009), and 24 Tg CH4 yr−1 larger than the one reported in the previous budget for 2003–2012 (Saunois et al., 2016). Since 2012, global CH4 emissions have been tracking the warmest scenarios assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Bottom-up methods suggest almost 30 % larger global emissions (737 Tg CH4 yr−1, range 594–881) than top-down inversion methods. Indeed, bottom-up estimates for natural sources such as natural wetlands, other inland water systems, and geological sources are higher than top-down estimates. The atmospheric constraints on the top-down budget suggest that at least some of these bottom-up emissions are overestimated. The latitudinal distribution of atmospheric observation-based emissions indicates a predominance of tropical emissions (∼ 65 % of the global budget, < 30∘ N) compared to mid-latitudes (∼ 30 %, 30–60∘ N) and high northern latitudes (∼ 4 %, 60–90∘ N). The most important source of uncertainty in the methane budget is attributable to natural emissions, especially those from wetlands and other inland waters. Some of our global source estimates are smaller than those in previously published budgets (Saunois et al., 2016; Kirschke et al., 2013). In particular wetland emissions are about 35 Tg CH4 yr−1 lower due to improved partition wetlands and other inland waters. Emissions from geological sources and wild animals are also found to be smaller by 7 Tg CH4 yr−1 by 8 Tg CH4 yr−1, respectively. However, the overall discrepancy between bottom-up and top-down estimates has been reduced by only 5 % compared to Saunois et al. (2016), due to a higher estimate of emissions from inland waters, highlighting the need for more detailed research on emissions factors. Priorities for improving the methane budget include (i) a global, high-resolution map of water-saturated soils and inundated areas emitting methane based on a robust classification of different types of emitting habitats; (ii) further development of process-based models for inland-water emissions; (iii) intensification of methane observations at local scales (e.g., FLUXNET-CH4 measurements) and urban-scale monitoring to constrain bottom-up land surface models, and at regional scales (surface networks and satellites) to constrain atmospheric inversions; (iv) improvements of transport models and the representation of photochemical sinks in top-down inversions; and (v) development of a 3D variational inversion system using isotopic and/or co-emitted species such as ethane to improve source partitioning