EGU General Assembly 2020
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Observing the surface radiation and energy balance, carbon dioxide and methane fluxes over the city centre of Amsterdam

Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Sophie van der Horst, and Bert Heusinkveld
Gert-Jan Steeneveld et al.
  • Wageningen University, Meteorology and Air Quality Section, Wageningen, Netherlands (

Cities largely affect boundary-layer climates due to complex surface structures, pollutant emissions, and anthropogenic heat release. As urban populations are expanding worldwide, insight is required into the urban surface radiation and energy balance and urban greenhouse gas fluxes. However, little long-term flux measurement records are available for dense city centres. We present one year (June 2018 - May 2019) of flux observations taken at a 40-meters tower in the city centre of Amsterdam. We analyse the diurnal and seasonal variation of the turbulent and greenhouse gas fluxes, and we estimate the flux footprint to gain insight in flux variation with wind direction. Also, anthropogenic heat flux and storage fluxes are estimated from emission inventories and the objective hysteresis model respectively. This analysis shows that, especially during the winter, the sum of the sensible and latent heat flux exceeds the net radiation. Thus, the storage flux and anthropogenic heat flux are significant energy providers. Also, we find a surprisingly good surface energy balance closure, especially during summer. To achieve annual energy closure, the sensible heat and latent heat flux require an increase of 13%. Moreover, we find that the measured carbon dioxide flux (45 kg CO2 m-2 y-1) is close to bottom-up source quantification (47 kg CO2 m-2 y-1). For some wind directions, the agreement is better than for others. In addition, we show that the annual methane emission is slightly higher than the emission found in Florence and London. Yet the methane source partitioning in Amsterdam remains open for more research.

How to cite: Steeneveld, G.-J., van der Horst, S., and Heusinkveld, B.: Observing the surface radiation and energy balance, carbon dioxide and methane fluxes over the city centre of Amsterdam, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1547,, 2019

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Display material version 1 – uploaded on 04 May 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-1547, Leena Järvi, 04 May 2020

    Hi Gert-Jan,

    Thank you for the interesting presentation. It seems that you have very detailed emission inventory information from your flux footprint. Are you able to get your hands to hourly comsumption and traffic data from the whole area for both energy and CO2? It would be interesting to evaluate SUEWS CO2 flux module with your data as you seem to have more detailed consumption information available than eg from Helsinki.


    • AC2: Reply to CC1, Gert-Jan Steeneveld, 07 May 2020

      Hi Leena,

      How are you?  For this study we had electricity and gas consumption data per zip code available, and these areas are rather small in Amsterdam. Also the consumption profiles (in time) of electricity and natural gas were provided by the local grid manager Liander.




  • CC2: Comment on EGU2020-1547, Andrew Kowalski, 04 May 2020

    Hi Gert-Jan,

    That's a very interesting study. I wonder if you can comment on just how representative is the tower footprint for the radiation measurements? By this I mean that your eddy covariance flux footprint is the size of many football fields, but the radiometers are seeing a much smaller surface. Is the upwelling radiation coming off your your hotel roof and nearby ground surface similar to the downtown area in general? Can this be assessed (easily)?

    kind regards,



    • AC1: Reply to CC2, Gert-Jan Steeneveld, 04 May 2020

      Hi Andy,

      The longwave upwelling flux indeed sees a much smaller footprint area than the fluxes. The L_up sensor does not only see the roof of the building but also part of the ground surface and walls underneath. I think this is not easiliy upscalable to a wider area of city, unless we fly with drones but that is forbidden over cities in NL.