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Inferring high-resolution fossil fuel CO2 records at continental sites from combined 14CO2 and CO observations


Karstens,  U.
Regional Scale Modelling of Atmospheric Trace Gases, Dr. U. Karstens, Department Biogeochemical Systems, Prof. M. Heimann, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Levin, I., & Karstens, U. (2007). Inferring high-resolution fossil fuel CO2 records at continental sites from combined 14CO2 and CO observations. Tellus, Series B - Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 59(2), 245-250. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0889.2006.00244.x.

An uncertainty estimate of a purely observational approach to derive hourly regional fossil fuel CO2 offsets (Delta CO2(foss)) at continental CO2 monitoring sites is presented. Weekly mean C-14-based fossil fuel CO2 mixing ratios and corresponding regional CO offsets (Delta CO) are proposed to determine weekly mean Delta CO/Delta CO2(foss) ratios in order to derive hourly Delta CO2(foss) mixing ratios from hourly Delta CO measurements. Respective regional model estimates of CO and CO2(foss) are applied to test this approach and obtain root mean square errors of the correspondingly determined regional hourly fossil fuel CO2 component. The method is further validated with campaign-based observations in Heidelberg. The uncertainty of the proposed method turns out to increase with decreasing fossil fuel CO2 fraction ranging from about 15% up to 40% for continental Europe. Together with the uncertainty of the Delta CO/Delta CO2(foss) ratio, which is determined by the precision of the (CO2)-C-14 measurement, this method is still more accurate and precise than any model-based approach. [References: 12]