The University of Arizona

Fossil-Fuel-Derived CO2 Contribution to the Urban Atmosphere in Guangzhou, South China, Estimated by 14CO2 Observation, 2010–2011

P Ding, C D Shen, W X Yi, N Wang, X F Ding, D P Fu, K X Liu


From October 2010 to November 2011, the urban atmospheric CO2 concentration in Guangzhou ranged from 550 to 460 ppm, with mean monthly concentration fluctuating between 530 and 470 ppm. A lower concentration was observed in summer and autumn, while a higher concentration occurred in spring and winter. The urban atmospheric CO2 δ13C value varied between –9.00 and –13.10‰, with mean monthly value fluctuating between –9.60 and –11.80‰. There was no significant relationship between the CO2 concentration and δ13C value, reflecting the influence from the fossil-fuel-derived CO2 on the urban atmospheric CO2. The urban atmospheric CO2 Δ14C value fluctuated dramatically from 29.1 ± 2.5‰ to –85.2 ± 3.1‰, with a mean annual value of –16.4 ± 3.0‰. A similar seasonal variation of Δ14C value with the concentrations was observed: the higher Δ14C values mainly appeared in summer and autumn (July to September), with a mean value of about –5.2 ± 2.9‰, while lower Δ14C values occurred in spring and winter (December to April), average value about –27.1 ± 3.2‰. Based on the atmospheric Δ14C values, the calculated fossil-fuel-derived CO2 concentrations range between 1 and 58 ppm, with the mean annual concentration around 24 ppm. Similarly, a lower fossil-fuel-derived CO2 concentration appeared in summer and autumn (July to September) with a mean value of ~17 ppm, while the higher fossil-fuel-derived CO2 concentration occurred in spring and winter (December to April) with an average value of ~29 ppm. A comparison of the CO2 concentrations before and after the Guangzhou Asian Games (in November 2010) and the Spring Festival of 2011 confirmed that human activities can greatly decrease the fossil-fuel-derived CO2 emissions to the urban atmosphere in Guangzhou.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16133

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