Effects of urban density on carbon dioxide exchanges: Observations of dense urban, suburban and woodland areas of southern England

H. C. Ward*, S. Kotthaus, C. S B Grimmond, A. Bjorkegren, M. Wilkinson, W. T J Morrison, J. G. Evans, J. I L Morison, M. Iamarino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)
217 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Anthropogenic and biogenic controls on the surface-atmosphere exchange of CO2 are explored for three different environments. Similarities are seen between suburban and woodland sites during summer, when photosynthesis and respiration determine the diurnal pattern of the CO2 flux. In winter, emissions from human activities dominate urban and suburban fluxes; building emissions increase during cold weather, while traffic is a major component of CO2 emissions all year round. Observed CO2 fluxes reflect diurnal traffic patterns (busy throughout the day (urban); rush-hour peaks (suburban)) and vary between working days and non-working days, except at the woodland site. Suburban vegetation offsets some anthropogenic emissions, but 24-h CO2 fluxes are usually positive even during summer. Observations are compared to estimated emissions from simple models and inventories. Annual CO2 exchanges are significantly different between sites, demonstrating the impacts of increasing urban density (and decreasing vegetation fraction) on the CO2 flux to the atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-200
Number of pages15
JournalENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
Volume198
Early online date19 Jan 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Carbon emissions
  • Emissions inventory
  • Human impact
  • Land use change
  • Net ecosystem exchange

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