Identification of Urban Zones Related to Carbon Emission Levels Using Moderate Resolution Nighttime Satellite Imagery From the International Space Station: Preliminary Results
C. Elvidge1 and S. Anderson2
1NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305; 303-497-6121, E-mail: email@example.com
2University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309
Fossil fuel CO2 emission sources can be broadly divided into point sources (e.g. power plants) and distributed sources (vehicles, hot water heaters, furnaces, cooking, etc.). The spatial and temporal patterns of distributed carbon emissions cannot be measured from space due to atmospheric transport and the coarse spatial resolution at which atmospheric CO2 can be measured from space. We are investigating the use of moderate resolution satellite observed nighttime lights as a proxy for the distributed component of fossil fuel CO2 emissions. We analyzed 25 meter resolution nighttime color camera imagery that was acquired at Los Angeles, California from the International Space Station relative to county zoning maps. The preliminary results indicate that building in commercial and industrial zones have substantially brighter lighting than residential zones. The results indicate that it would be feasible to make high spatial resolution models of distributed CO2 emissions within urban centers based on brightness levels of nocturnal lighting observed at moderate spatial resolution.