EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Atmospheric satellite-based and in situ surface observations on summertime trace gases (CO, CO2, CH4) over the metropolitan area of Bucharest

Marius-Paul Corbu1,4, Andreea Calcan1, Ioana Vizireanu1, Denisa Elena Moaca1, Robert-Valentin Chiritescu2,3, Thomas Roeckmann5, Hossein Maazallahi5, Julianne Mae Fernandez6, James France6, and Gabriela Iorga4,2
Marius-Paul Corbu et al.
  • 1National Institute of Aerospace Research 'Elie Carafoli' - INCAS, Bucharest, Romania (
  • 2University of Bucharest, Faculty of Physics, P.O. Box MG-11, 077125 Bucharest-Magurele, Romania
  • 3National Meteorological Administration, Sos. Bucuresti-Ploiesti nr. 97, S1, 013686 Bucharest, Romania
  • 4University of Bucharest, Faculty of Chemistry, Bd. Regina Elisabeta 4-12, 030018 Bucharest, Romania
  • 5University of Utrecht, Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, Buys Ballotgebouw Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, Netherland
  • 6Royal Holloway University of London, Department of Earth Sciences, Egham Hill, Egham TW20 0EX, United Kingdom

Although anthropogenic emissions of trace gases have decreased over the last decades in Europe, strong additional reductions are required to reach the goals of the Paris climate agreements. In addition, air pollution is an issue of great concern for the inhabitants of the metropolitan area of Bucharest, as the local air quality is often poor. The rapid development of the city, increased traffic volume from a mixed vehicle fleet (different technologies and fuels), and other factors are strong contributors of emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants in Bucharest.

The goal of this research was the assessment of CO, CO2 and CH4 concentrations in Bucharest, identification of potential emissions hotspots and their causes (anthropogenic or natural/biogenic, local or distant) and determination of the background values.

Measurements were performed in summer 2019 in four districts of Bucharest covering about two thirds of the metropolitan area during the Romanian Methane Emissions from Oil&gas (ROMEO) campaign with high resolution (1 sec). These data sets were complemented with satellite observations of CO and CH4 from Copernicus Sentinel-5P at a resolution of 7 km2.

Hourly meteorological data, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and atmospheric pressure were added to the air pollutant data set because synoptic conditions can strongly influence the levels of pollution. Air mass origins were investigated by computing backward air mass trajectories using the HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model for 72 hours back.

Points of high concentrations of CO, CO2, CH4 near the surface were identified which are, most likely, linked to local anthropogenic activities in the nearby surroundings. We identified a variation of concentrations of CO from 0.01 to 101 ppm, of CO2 from 388 to 6556 ppm, and of CH4 from 1.89 to 246 ppm, while background levels are as follows: 0.071±0.042 ppm CO, 392.68±3.01 ppm CO2, and 1.93±0.016 ppm CH4.

Results of our study provide an up to date quantitative image of CO, CO2, CH4 hotspots in the Bucharest area, which is important for modeling air quality and may also help to improve the relationships between column integrated air pollution data with in situ ground observations.


This research is supported by ROMEO project, developed under UNEP’s financial support PCA/CCAC/UU/DTIE19-EN652. Partial financial support from UB198/Int project is also acknowledged.

The authors acknowledge the free use of tropospheric CO and CH4 column data from TROPOMI (Sentinel-5P) sensor from and the NOAA Air Resources Laboratory for the provision of the HYSPLIT transport model available at READY website

Special thanks to all INCAS technical staff for their support in performing the campaigns.

How to cite: Corbu, M.-P., Calcan, A., Vizireanu, I., Moaca, D. E., Chiritescu, R.-V., Roeckmann, T., Maazallahi, H., Fernandez, J. M., France, J., and Iorga, G.: Atmospheric satellite-based and in situ surface observations on summertime trace gases (CO, CO2, CH4) over the metropolitan area of Bucharest, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4930,, 2020


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