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Variations in Atmospheric CO 2 Mixing Ratios across a Boston, MA Urban to Rural Gradient

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Author Info

  • Brittain M. Briber

    ()
    (Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, 685 Commonwealth Ave., Room 130, Boston, MA 02215, USA)

  • Lucy R. Hutyra

    ()
    (Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, 685 Commonwealth Ave., Room 130, Boston, MA 02215, USA)

  • Allison L. Dunn

    ()
    (Physical and Earth Sciences Department, Worcester State University, 486 Chandler St., Worcester, MA 01602, USA)

  • Steve M. Raciti

    ()
    (Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, 685 Commonwealth Ave., Room 130, Boston, MA 02215, USA)

  • J. William Munger

    ()
    (School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA)

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    Abstract

    Urban areas are directly or indirectly responsible for the majority of anthropogenic CO 2 emissions. In this study, we characterize observed atmospheric CO 2 mixing ratios and estimated CO 2 fluxes at three sites across an urban-to-rural gradient in Boston, MA, USA. CO 2 is a well-mixed greenhouse gas, but we found significant differences across this gradient in how, where, and when it was exchanged. Total anthropogenic emissions were estimated from an emissions inventory and ranged from 1.5 to 37.3 mg·C·ha −1 ·yr −1 between rural Harvard Forest and urban Boston. Despite this large increase in anthropogenic emissions, the mean annual difference in atmospheric CO 2 between sites was approximately 5% (20.6 ± 0.4 ppm). The influence of vegetation was also visible across the gradient. Green-up occurred near day of year 126, 136, and 141 in Boston, Worcester and Harvard Forest, respectively, highlighting differences in growing season length. In Boston, gross primary production—estimated by scaling productivity by canopy cover—was ~75% lower than at Harvard Forest, yet still constituted a significant local flux of 3.8 mg·C·ha −1 ·yr −1 . In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we must improve our understanding of the space-time variations and underlying drivers of urban carbon fluxes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Land.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 304-327

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:2:y:2013:i:3:p:304-327:d:26862

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: CO 2; emissions; urban; gradient; land cover;

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    1. Sieds, 2010. "Complete Volume LXIV n.4 2010," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 0(4), pages 1-287.
    2. Sieds, 2010. "Complete Volume LXIV nn.1-2 2010," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 0(1-2), pages 1-228.
    3. Sieds, 2010. "Complete Volume LXIV n.3 2010," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 0(3), pages 1-177.
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