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CO2 Human Emissions

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CHE (CO2 Human Emissions)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-12-31

CHE has brought together European expertise and a consolidated approach to building an operational anthropogenic CO2 emission monitoring & verification support capacity. CHE partners are at the forefront of developments in the compilation of emission inventories, the observation of the carbon cycle from ground-based and satellite measurements, the process modelling of the carbon cycle, atmospheric transport modelling, and data assimilation and inversion systems. There were four main areas of work covering: observations, emission inventories, modelling and inversion systems.
The central questions that CHE has addressed are:
• What does it take to have a combined bottom-up and top-down estimation system capable of distinguishing the anthropogenic part of the CO2 budget from the natural fluxes?
• How can we make the first steps towards such a system that can use the high spatial and temporal resolution of satellite observations to monitor anthropogenic emissions at the required time scales?
• And what does it take to transform a research system into a fully operational monitoring support capacity?
A mature and credible monitoring system for anthropogenic CO2 emissions requires the integration of all available information streams, which is a complex undertaking.
The initiative acted as a bridge between the European Commission and its CO2 Task Force, space agencies and related industries, the CO2 science community, and the Copernicus Services.
In its first period CHE achieved the following:
• With the CHE tier-1 2015 global baseline simulation being delivered, a common base for high-resolution global estimates of CO2 concentrations and emissions has been established that can feed into the global to local information chain and permit the across-project interactions (with VERIFY and SCARBO) as the baseline simulations are freely accessible .
• These Tier-1 simulations will provide boundary conditions to continental and regional simulations and are also valuable for setting an internal benchmark to build an improved tier-2 series.
• A significant step forward for estimations of the uncertainty/precision is achieved via use of an ensemble system using the IPCC-based uncertainty-ranges and seven groups of emissions, following a study in WP3 and including the meteorological transport and emissions uncertainty estimates. The ensemble work accomplished is also preparatory to data assimilation activities as it allows to disentangle the transport and the surface emissions signal in producing a given CO2 concentration at a given location.
• The Data Assimilation work has completed the preparatory steps on infrastructure and standardisation of the input/output that are important but not very visual yet (CHE report D1.1 ).

In the second development year, the following was achieved:
• A review and assessment of the CHE observational capabilities from existing networks and platforms has been compiled (D5.1) for satellites CO2 and non-CO2 (e.g. CO NO2) components as well as for ground based remote sensing and in-situ components defining a clear set of recommendations.
• An outline for the global regional and local modelling capabilities clustered in offline and online approaches has clarified the implementation strategy for the multi-scale capability (D5.3 and D5.5) achievable within CHE and its follow-on, detailing the state-of-the-art modelling components (e.g. Atmospheric transport, biogenic fluxes, anthropogenic emissions, biomass burning, ocean fluxes, and atmospheric chemistry) and data assimilation methodologies (e.g. 4DVAR, EnKF, Hybrid EnVar), highlighting a key set recommendation and research priorities.
• An overview of the CHE uncertainty (D5.7) sources and objective uncertainty estimation techniques for the prior (e.g. IPCC, UNFCCC) and posterior components evaluating the uncertainty reduction capability in the context of quantitative network design activities, along with a set of recommendations and research priorities.
• A new set of global CO2 and CH4 simulations (CHE Tier-2, D2.6) along with ensemble simulations (10-member) to characterise variability and assess signal-to-noise ratios.

In the third and final development year, the following was achieved:
• The improved global system (ECMWF-IFS as used in CAMS + enhanced model & ancillary datasets) that performed the Tier-2 nature run at high resolution has been detailed in the D2.6 report. The regional system capabilities have been well demonstrated for COSMO-GHG and LOTOS-EUROS in the D2.4 report and for the local scale the Large-Eddy-Simulations LES report D2.8 contains detail information of the work undertaken to simulate CO2 plumes.
• The key requirements within the CHE project from research done in the Science-layer Work-packages (WP1-4) and connecting the specific requirements of the CHE Monitoring and Verification System prototype were detailed in the CHE Service-layer Work-package WP5. These are summarised in the deliverables D5.2 D5.4 D5.6 D.5.8 respectively covering the Earth observations, the modelling components, the data assimilation methodology and the uncertainty characterisation. A final D5.9 report summarises and links all the deliverables and identifies priorities.
The impacts of the CHE project are all linked to its function as a bridge between the European Commission and its CO2 Task Force, space agencies and related industries, the CO2 science community, and the Copernicus Services. In addition, CHE brought innovation to start connecting the various building blocks (observations, emission inventories, modelling and inversion systems) that form the future monitoring system and exploit synergies and strengths of the various (inverse) modelling methodologies that are already available.
The impact results from making future operational services possible, which will then serve several categories of end users. These future end users can be found in the policy sector, the science community and the private sector, as clearly outlined in the European Commission’s CO2 report. However, liaising with final end-users is also required in designing a system that is supposed to meet their needs by 2025 or 2030. CHE has achieved this through interaction with the Task Force as well as through the involvement of project partners in several of these user sectors. In addition, CHE established strong links with the VERIFY project, which has a full work package to assess the current and future needs of inventory institutions and of the international climate process. CHE representatives actively engaged in these discussions.
The long-term impact of CHE has been realised through scoping the detailed requirements of the prototype system and through mobilising and organising the required efforts within Europe. This forms the starting point for the follow-up H2020 activity to build the systems needed for a pre-operational Copernicus service.
The year 2020 has further demonstrated the near-real-time CO2 monitoring capabilities from the project partners in estimating the CO2 emission reductions using innovative human activity proxy data and the capacity of global Earth Observation remote sensing (such as the Copernicus Sentinel 5P) assimilated within CAMS to estimate CO2 co-emissions reductions such as Nitrogen Dioxide NO2, which is a key EO-data source for the CO2MVS prototype before the CO2M constellation will become operational.
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