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COVID impact on urban GHG emissions: A multi-city investigation

Traffic levels dropped dramatically in March, 2020 in North America as cities, states, and nations ordered residents to stay at home to prevent transmission of the virus. This event provides a unique test of our ability to quantify rapid changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from abrupt changes in social and economic behavior. The project team will use existing tower-based measurement networks, GHG data sets, atmospheric models, ecosystem models, atmospheric inversion systems, and urban emissions inventories where possible, building on years of development of the NIST urban testbeds and the NOAA CO2-USA programs, to document the impact of the pandemic on GHG emissions from six cities, and to test the ability to develop high spatial and temporal resolution, sector-specific GHG emissions monitoring. The project will demonstrate the capabilities and limits of these observational and modeling systems, and move communities closer to the ability to monitor GHG emissions mitigation efforts in near-real-time.

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