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Quantifying the impacts of COVID-19 on U.S. national and regional non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from atmospheric observations

Estimates of emission reduction on potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as CH4, N2O, fluorinated gases, and ozone depleting substances associated with COVID-19 are near absent. Unlike carbon dioxide (CO2), these gases have a much lower fraction of biogenic (natural) sources across the United States and are more sensitive to changes of anthropogenic emissions. Because many of these gases are primarily emitted from a specific sector, their emission reductions can further inform us on the COVID-19 impacts upon specific activities. This project will leverage the NOAA?s extensive long-term atmospheric observations over the United States, in combination with complementary airborne campaigns and space based atmospheric observations, to fully characterize the evolution of COVID-19 impacts on U.S. national and regional emissions of non-CO2 GHGs, including CH4, N2O, HFC-134a, HFC-143a, HFC-125, HCFC-22, SF6, CF4, and SO2F2. The invested research outcome, e.g., strategies on how to integrate NOAA?s in situ observing systems with the emerging high-resolution satellite GHG measurements, will be directly incorporated into the NOAA?s CT-L data assimilation system to better assimilate surface-to-space observations in the future. The proposed analyses will also allow us to evaluate the rigor and effectiveness of the current in situ and space-based atmospheric monitoring systems for constraining GHG emissions and their variabilities at policy relevant scales.

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