Northeast Corridor Urban Test Bed
The Northeast Corridor Urban Test Bed project will develop observational infrastructure and analysis capabilities to bolster confidence in regional emissions inventories for greenhouse gases (GHG). The goal of this project is to determine fluxes of GHG sources and sinks in the Northeast Corridor, currently focusing on the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland urban regions.
This work is funded and conducted by NIST in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Maryland, Purdue University, Arizona State University, and Earth Networks.
GHG concentrations in the Northeast United States are measured with a suite of instrumentation on aircraft and on a high-accuracy tower network around the region. Airborne measurement flights are conducted by the University of Maryland’s Fluxes of Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases in Maryland project (FLAGG-MD) and by Purdue University.
We are also investigating how the urban biosphere influences GHG fluxes. This NIST-FOREST project uses the NIST’s 24 hectare forest as a test bed.
Modeling and Simulations
To estimate urban GHG emissions, observations of GHG concentrations are coupled with atmospheric transport and dispersion models and statistical analysis methods (inversions). A critical component of this effort is the ability to model GHG dispersion using an atmospheric transport model, which is often driven by archived meteorological model fields. We are currently investigating the effects of both the meteorological and dispersion models on the resulting flux estimates. We are also developing new statistical methods for incorporating more realistic error structures into the inverse analysis.
High-resolution emissions modeling, in the form of the Hestia product, is also an important part of the Northeast Corridor project.