New CO2 emission maps to monitor climate change

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Washington, Sep 12: In what could help global policy makers to easily reach an agreement on strategies to reduce green house gas emissions, researchers have developed a new approach to reliably estimate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Called the "Fossil Fuel Data Assimilation System" or FFDAS, this new system was used to quantify 15 years of CO2 emissions, every hour, for the entire planet - down to the city scale.

"With this system, we are taking a big step toward creating a global monitoring system for greenhouse gases, something that is needed as the world considers how best to meet greenhouse gas reductions," said Kevin Robert Gurney, lead investigator and associate professor at Arizona State University in the US.

These maps provide a scientific, independent assessment of the planet's greenhouse gas emissions - something policy-makers can use and the public can understand, the study noted.

Until now, scientists have estimated greenhouse gas emissions at courser scales or used less reliable techniques.

The FFDAS uses information from satellite feeds, national fuel accounts, and a new global database on power plants to create high-resolution planetary maps.

"Now we can provide all countries with detailed information about their CO2 emissions and show that independent, scientific monitoring of greenhouse gases is possible," Gurney added.

"This is an incredibly helpful tool for national and international policymakers and the public to get a grasp of whether strategies to reduce greenhouse gases are effective," said Jennifer Morgan from World Resources Institute in the US.

The study appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

IANS

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