Identifying Urban Emission Patterns in the Los Angeles Megacity

EarthzineAnalyzing Human and Environmental Health, DEVELOP 2015 Summer VPS, DEVELOP Virtual Poster Session

This is an article from the Summer 2015 VPS. For more VPS articles, click here

Category:åÊAnalyzing Human and Environmental Health

Project Team: Los Angeles Health and Air Quality

Team Location: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Pasadena, California


Talha Rafiq

Isis Frausto-Vicencio

Valerie Carranza


Dr. Charles Miller (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Dr. Francesca Hopkins (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Dr. Kristal Verhulst, (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Dr. Preeti Rao (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)


Combining greenhouse gas (GHG) datasets with Geographic Information System (GIS) spatial modeling is a viable method for analyzing the distribution of GHG emissions. Understanding the spatial dynamics of GHG emissions is important for global climate modeling and forecasting, especially as it relates to predicting the effects of global warming and the development of state and federal policies. Our research presented a spatial model of methane (CH4) emissions in the Southern California Air Basin. Point sources of CH4 emissions were established through the development of a geospatial database.åÊ We estimated CH4 emission factors using a combination of the GHG inventory developed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and other statistical methods derived from previous GHG studies to tabulate these spatial datasets in order to create a raster-based visualization of CH4 emissions. Our spatial map of CH4 emissions illustrated the potential of spatial modeling for accurately depicting GHG emissions in a megacity, such as greater Los Angeles. This data provided a baseline against which measurements collected by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Earth Science Division, chiefly the Megacities Carbon Project, can be evaluated. The identification and quantification of dominant source types and locations of CH4 also were employed by CARB to develop effective GHG reduction policies to satisfy the requirements of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

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