Quantifying CO2 Emissions from Smaller Point Sources by Using Multiple OCO-3 Images


The ability to monitor anthropogenic CO2 emissions from space is crucial to support policy efforts to reduce emissions. NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 (OCO-3) has the new capability of collecting Snapshot Area Maps (SAMs), which enable effective CO2 emission estimation for large point sources. However, numerous other sources remain beyond the limit of a single SAM for effective emission quantification. In this work, we build on earlier theoretical research that explored combining XCO2 images, by overlaying multiple SAMs. The SAMs are rotated, interpolated onto a regular grid, and averaged. This process accentuates the plume and offers a higher effective spatial resolution than any individual overpass. It allows for top-down emissions estimates of smaller point sources (<7 MtCO2/yr) where they were otherwise not possible and demonstrates the advantage of the frequent revisit rate and wide-view imaging of the OCO-3 SAM mode.

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