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Observation and simulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide in Vancouver

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Title: Observation and simulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide in Vancouver
Author: Reid, Kenneth Howard
Degree Master of Science - MSc
Program Atmospheric Science
Copyright Date: 1995
Subject Keywords Air -- Pollution -- British Columbia -- Vancouver; Air quality -- British Columbia -- Vancouver; Carbon dioxide
Abstract: Climate change expected from increasing atmospheric CO₂ concentrations has been studied widely (IPCC, 1990). Further, it is recognized that cities are a major source of anthropogenic CO₂. However, few studies of CO₂ concentrations in, or near, cities have been conducted. A LI-COR infrared gas analyzer was operated at the Sunset Tower in a suburban region of Vancouver during different time periods in 1993 and 1994. Sampling revealed important information on seasonal and diurnal variations. The observed summertime concentrations show a clear diurnal signal around the expected upwind background concentration, and are described by a late afternoon minimum, and overnight maximum. The afternoon CO₂ minimum is attributed to the strength of biospheric photosynthesis and strong mixing of local anthropogenic sources within a large mixed layer. Poor nighttime mixing, lower mixed depths, and biospheric respiration account for the observed nighttime maximum, often more than 80 ppmv greater than the background concentration. A simple numerical multiple-box transport model was developed to simulate the observed diurnal pattern of CO₂ concentration at the suburban site. CO₂ emissions inventories for important mobile sources, stationary sources, and biospheric sources and sinks are calculated as input to the model for upwind fetch areas. Other CO₂ inputs include advection, entrainment from above the mixed layer and determination of the mixed layer depth. Results of both observations and modelling show large diurnal variation in CO₂ concentrations, and the importance of boundary layer structure (as defined by the mixed layer) on concentrations at a specific location. In terms of CO₂, the role of the city is placed in it global context.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/3923
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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