18 Dec 2020

18 Dec 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ESSD and is expected to appear here in due course.

The consolidated European synthesis of CO2 emissions and removals for EU27 and UK: 1990–2018

Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu1, Matthew J. McGrath2, Robbie M. Andrew3, Philippe Peylin2, Glen P. Peters3, Philippe Ciais2, Gregoire Broquet2, Francesco N. Tubiello4, Christoph Gerbig5, Julia Pongratz6,7, Greet Janssens-Maenhout8, Giacomo Grassi8, Gert-Jan Nabuurs9, Pierre Regnier10, Ronny Lauerwald10,11, Matthias Kuhnert12, Juraj Balcovič13,14, Mart-Jan Schelhaas9, Hugo A. C. Denier van der Gon15, Efisio Solazzo8, Chunjing Qiu2, Roberto Pilli8, Igor B. Konovalov16, Richard Houghton17, Dirk Günther18, Lucia Perugini19, Monica Crippa9, Raphael Ganzenmüller6, Ingrid T. Luijkx9, Pete Smith12, Saqr Munassar5, Rona L. Thompson20, Giulia Conchedda4, Guillaume Monteil21, Marko Scholze21, Ute Karstens22, Patrick Brokmann2, and Han Dolman1 Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081HV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA CNRS UVSQ UPSACLAY Orme des Merisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 3CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Oslo, Norway
  • 4FAO, Statistics Division, Via Terme di Caracalla, Rome 00153, Italy
  • 5Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knöll-Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
  • 6Department of Geography, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, 80333 Munich, Germany
  • 7Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • 8European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Via Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, Italy
  • 9Wageningen Environmental Research, Wageningen University and Research (WUR), Wageningen, 6708PB, the Netherlands
  • 10Biogeochemistry and Modeling of the Earth System, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
  • 11Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, AgroParisTech, UMR ECOSYS, Thiverval-Grignon, France
  • 12Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, 23 St Machar Drive, Aberdeen, AB24 3UU, UK
  • 13International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Ecosystems Services and Management Program, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361, Laxenburg, Austria
  • 14Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, Ilkovičova 6, 842 15, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
  • 15TNO, Department of Climate, Air and Sustainability, Princetonlaan 6, 3584 CB Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 16Institute of Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia
  • 17Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • 18Umweltbundesamt (UBA), 14193 Berlin, Germany
  • 19Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), Viterbo, Italy
  • 20Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Kjeller, Norway
  • 21Dept. of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • 22ICOS Carbon Portal at Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Abstract. Reliable quantification of the sources and sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), including that of their trends and uncertainties, is essential to monitoring the progress in mitigating anthropogenic emissions under the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. This study provides a consolidated synthesis of estimates for all anthropogenic and natural sources and sinks of CO2 for the European Union and UK (EU27 + UK), derived from a combination of state-of-the-art bottom-up (BU) and top-down (TD) data sources and models. Given the wide scope of the work and the variety of datasets involved, this study focuses on identifying essential questions which need to be answered to properly understand the differences between various datasets, in particular with regards to the less-well characterized fluxes from managed ecosystems. The work integrates recent emission inventory data, process-based ecosystem model results, data-driven sector model results, and inverse modelling estimates, over the period 1990–2018. BU and TD products are compared with European national GHG inventories (NGHGI) reported under the UNFCCC in 2019, aiming to assess and understand the differences between approaches. For the uncertainties in NGHGI, we used the standard deviation obtained by varying parameters of inventory calculations, reported by the Member States following the IPCC guidelines. Variation in estimates produced with other methods, like atmospheric inversion models (TD) or spatially disaggregated inventory datasets (BU), arise from diverse sources including within-model uncertainty related to parameterization as well as structural differences between models. In comparing NGHGI with other approaches, a key source of uncertainty is that related to different system boundaries and emission categories (CO2 fossil) and the use of different land use definitions for reporting emissions from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) activities (CO2 land). At the EU27 + UK level, the NGHGI (2019) fossil CO2 emissions (including cement production) account for 2624 Tg CO2 in 2014 while all the other seven bottom-up sources are consistent with the NGHGI and report a mean of 2588 (± 463 Tg CO2). The inversion reports 2700 Tg CO2 (± 480 Tg CO2), well in line with the national inventories. Over 2011–2015, the CO2 land sources/sinks from NGHGI estimates report −90 Tg C yr−1 ± 30 Tg C while all other BU approaches report a mean sink of −98 Tg yr−1 (± 362 Tg C from DGVMs only). For the TD model ensemble results, we observe a much larger spread for regional inversions (i.e., mean of 253 Tg C yr−1 ± 400 T g C yr−1). This concludes that a) current independent approaches are consistent with NGHGI b) their uncertainty is too large to allow a verification because of model differences and probably also because of the definition of CO2 flux obtained from different approaches. The referenced datasets related to figures are visualized at (Petrescu et al., 2020).

Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu et al.

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Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu et al.

Data sets

The consolidated European synthesis of CO2 emissions and removals for EU27 and UK: 1990-2018 Petrescu, A. M. R., McGrath, M. J., Andrew, R. M., Peylin, P., Peters, G. P., Ciais, P., Broquet, G., Tubiello, F. N., Gerbig, C., Pongratz, J., Janssens-Maenhout, G., Grassi, G., Nabuurs, G. J., Regnier, P., Lauerwald, R., Kuhnert, M., Balkovič, J., Schelhaas, M. J., Denier van der Gon, H. A. C., Solazzo, E., Qiu, C., Pilli, R., Konovalov, I. B., Houghton, R., Günther, D., Perugini, L., Crippa, M., Ganzenmüller, R., Luijkx, I. T., Smith, P., Munassar, S., Thompson, R. L., Conchedda, G., Monteil, G., Scholze, M., Karstens, U., Brokmann, P., and Dolman, A. J.

Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu et al.


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Short summary
This study is topical and provides a state-of-the-art scientific overview of data availability from bottom-up and top-down CO2 fossil emissions and CO2 land fluxes in the EU27 + UK. The data integrates recent emission inventories with ecosystem data, land carbon models and regional/global inversions for the European domain, aiming at reconciling CO2 estimates with official country-level UNFCCC national GHG inventories in support to policy and facilitating real-time verification procedures.