Exploring the Potential of Using Carbonyl Sulfide to Track the Urban Biosphere Signal

Gara Villalba, Mary Whelan, Stephen A. Montzka, Philip J. Cameron‐Smith, Marc Fischer, Andrew Zumkehr, Tim Hilton, James Stinecipher, Ian Baker, Ray P. Bambha, Hope A. Michelsen, Brian W. LaFranchi, Carme Estruch, Elliott Campbell

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Cities are implementing additional urban green as a means to capture CO 2 and become more carbon neutral. However, cities are complex systems where anthropogenic and natural components of the CO 2 budget interact with each other, and the ability to measure the efficacy of such measures is still not properly addressed. There is still a high degree of uncertainty in determining the contribution of the vegetation signal, which furthermore confounds the use of CO 2 mole fraction measurements for inferring anthropogenic emissions of CO 2. Carbonyl sulfide (OCS) is a tracer of photosynthesis which can aid in constraining the biosphere signal. This study explores the potential of using OCS to track the urban biosphere signal. We used the Sulfur Transport and dEposition Model (STEM) to simulate the OCS concentrations and the Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach ecosystem model to simulate global CO 2 fluxes over the Bay Area of San Francisco during March 2015. Two observation towers provided measurements of OCS and CO 2: The Sutro tower in San Francisco (upwind from the area of study providing background observations), and a tower located at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore (downwind of the highly urbanized San Francisco region). Our results show that the STEM model works better under stable marine influence, and that the boundary layer height and entrainment are driving the diurnal changes in OCS and CO 2 at the downwind Sandia site. However, the STEM model needs to better represent the transport and boundary layer variability, and improved estimates of gross primary productivity for characterizing the urban biosphere signal are needed.

Idioma originalEnglish
RevistaJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 16 de jul. 2021


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