EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Anthropogenic CO2 emission uncertainties

Margarita Choulga1, Greet Janssens-Maenhout2, Gianpaolo Balsamo1, Joe McNorton1, Efisio Solazzo2, Nicolas Bousserez1, and Anna Agusti-Panareda1
Margarita Choulga et al.
  • 1ECMWF, Research, Reading, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (
  • 2Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Ispra, Italy

The CO2 Human Emissions (CHE) project has been tasked by the European Commission to prepare the development of a European capacity to monitor anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The monitoring of fossil fuel CO2 emissions has to come with a sufficiently low uncertainty in order to be useful for policymakers. In this context, the main approaches to estimate fossil fuel emissions, apart from bottom-up inventories, are based on inverse transport
modeling either on its own or within a coupled carbon cycle fossil fuel data assimilation system. Both approaches make use of atmospheric CO2 and other tracers (e.g., CO and NOx) and rely on the availability of prior fossil fuel CO2 emission estimates and uncertainties (as well as biogenic fluxes for the transport inverse modeling). For a robust estimate of the uncertainty, information from different sources needs to be brought together.
A methodology to calculate yearly and monthly anthropogenic CO2 emission uncertainties based on IPCC guidelines (2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories + its 2019 Refinements) has been developed. Emission uncertainties are calculated for all world countries, under the assumption of two categories of world countries, depending on whether the country’s statistical infrastructure is well or less developed. For well-developed statistical infrastructure, emission uncertainties are lower, while less developed statistical infrastructure countries have higher emission uncertainties. A sensitivity analysis is investigating the impact of the well or less developed infrastructure assumption for several countries on the global emission uncertainty. Sensitivity experiments with different anthropogenic CO2 sources distributions, as well as the first results on using these prior anthropogenic CO2 uncertainties in ensemble perturbation runs will be presented.

How to cite: Choulga, M., Janssens-Maenhout, G., Balsamo, G., McNorton, J., Solazzo, E., Bousserez, N., and Agusti-Panareda, A.: Anthropogenic CO2 emission uncertainties, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10560,, 2020

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