Mapping the Urban Carbon Dioxide Emissions at High Spatial and Temporal Resolution

Project contact:
Dr. Max Anjos
Dr. Fred Meier

Project description:
The project’s main goal is to develop a global mapping model that quantifies carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion in urban environments at fine spatial and temporal scales. Urban high-resolution CO2 emissions are crucial to local policymakers, so they can manage their mitigation programs by providing detailed Greenhouse Gas Emissions inventories and climate change plans.


The project effort includes both the bottom-up (upscaling) and top-down (downscaling) approaches to quantify the vertical fluxes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, attributed to four components of the urban carbon cycle: building, road transportation, human body, and vegetation and soils. These sub-models are derived from data sources, such as weather stations, remote sensing techniques, big data analysis, volunteered geographic information, and in situ CO2 measurements and then aggregated to city (0,5 - 1km) and neighborhood (100 - 50 m) scales.
Tower-based continuous measurement of CO2 fluxes, conducted by the Chair of Climatology in two neighborhoods in Berlin, creates an excellent opportunity to validate and compare measured and modelled emissions. Once validated, the carbon mapping model can be adequately applied to any city in the world, more specifically to areas where estimated CO2 emissions data are insufficient.
The project will provide a comprehensive dataset of CO2 emissions in three cities, other than Berlin: Lisbon (Portugal), Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) at street, building, neighbourhood and city scales, using the CO2 emission-based mapping model.
This research project is financed by the Coordenaçao de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior - Brazil (CAPES) and the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung/Foundation. Interdisciplinary collaborators of the project are experts from the Federal University of Curitiba, Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning (IGOT, University of Lisbon).

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Project collaborators:

  • Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning - IGOT, University of Lisbon (Portugal)
  • Laboratory of Climatology, Department of Geography, Federal University of Curitiba (Brazil)
  • Department of Geography, Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)