[CF-metadata] Warming up old stuff - 4 (emissions)

alison.pamment at stfc.ac.uk alison.pamment at stfc.ac.uk
Fri Jul 6 04:01:02 MDT 2012


Dear Martin, All,

Martin Schultz proposed a set of emission names about 12 months ago and there has been some sporadic discussion since. I would like to draw this discussion to a conclusion so that we are in a position to include these quantities, which are clearly of fundamental importance to the climate community, in the standard name table.

To summarize the situation so far: there has been discussion of the syntax of the names and I think that we quite quickly reached a consensus on tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_Y (kg m-2 s-1) where X is the chemical species and Y is the emission sector. I think also that there is no problem about the chemical species names that have been proposed. The remaining question is therefore one of describing and defining the emissions sectors and Martin has provided references to IPCC documentation describing "source categories". Steven Smith and Gregory Frost supported the proposals for the sectors; Heiko Klein suggested that they are too tied to IPCC and that a more general list of sectors would be desirable. Martin replied that there is scope for future activity in developing an emissions vocabulary, but it seems as though that work that is still very much in progress. Martin (off list) has also expressed the view that there are currently only two candidates for describing emissions sectors: IPCC and something called 'SNAP'. Apparently the two definitions overlap, but are not identical. Martin's proposal follows the recommendations of GEIA (the Global emissions inventory activity). There have not been any other comments on this set of proposals since 10th March.

First a reminder of the proposed emission categories (twelve in all), followed by my suggestion for how we should proceed.

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_energy_production_and_distribution
> Definition: The 'energy production and distribution' sector refers to
> the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source categories
> 1A1 and 1B as defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national
> greenhouse gas inventories. It comprises fuel combustion activities
> related to energy industries (1A1) and fugitive emissions from fuels
> (1B). It may also include any not-classified or "other" combustion,
> which is commonly included in energy-related inventory data.

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_industrial_processes_and_combustion
> Definition: The 'industrial processes and combustion' sector refers
> to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source
> categories 1A2, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D and 2E as defined in the 2006 IPCC
> guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories. It comprises fuel
> combustion activities related to manufacturing industries and
> construction (1A2) and industrial processes related to the mineral
> products (2A), the chemical industry (2B), the metal production (2C),
> the pulp, paper, food and drink production (2D), and non-energy use of
> lubricants/waxes (2G). It may also include any not-classified or
> "other" combustion, which is commonly included in industry-related
> inventory data.

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_residential_and_commercial_combustion
> Definition: The 'residential and commercial combustion' sector refers
> to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source category
> 1A4 as defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas
> inventories. It comprises fuel combustion activities related to the
> commercial/institutional sector (1A4a), the residential sector (1A4b)
> and the agriculture/forestry/fishing sector (1A4c). It may also include
> any not-classified or "other" combustion, which is commonly included in
> the inventory data.

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_solvent_production_and_use
> Definition: The 'solvent production and use' sector refers to the
> IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source categories 2F
> and 3 as defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse
> gas inventories. It comprises industrial processes related to the
> consumption of halocarbons and SF6 (2F) and solvent and other product
> use (3).

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_agricultural_production
> Definition: The 'agricultural production' sector refers to the IPCC
> (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source categories 4A, 4B,
> 4C, 4D and 4G as defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national
> greenhouse gas inventories. It comprises the agricultural processes
> enteric fermentation (4A), manure management (4B), rice cultivation
> (4C), agricultural soils (4D) and other (4G). It may also include any
> not-classified or "other" combustion, which is commonly included in
> industry-related inventory data.

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_agricultural_waste_burning
> Definition: The 'agricultural waste burning' sector refers to the
> IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source category 4F as
> defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas
> inventories. It comprises field burning of agricultural residues (4F).

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_waste_treatment_and_disposal
> Definition: The 'waste treatment and disposal' sector refers to the
> IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source category 6 as
> defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas
> inventories. It comprises solid waste disposal on land (6A), wastewater
> handling (6B), waste incineration (6C) and other (6D).

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_forest_fires
> Definition: The 'forest fires' sector refers to the IPCC
> (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source category 5 as
> defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas
> inventories. It comprises the burning of living or dead vegetation in
> forests (natural and human-induced).

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_savanna_and_grassland_fires
> Definition: The 'savanna and grassland fires' sector refers to the
> IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source category 5 as
> defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas
> inventories. It comprises the burning of living or dead vegetation in
> non-forested areas (natural and human-induced). It excludes field
> burning of agricultural residues (source category 4F).

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_land_transport
> Definition: The 'land transport' sector refers to the IPCC
> (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source categories 1A3b,
> 1A3c and 1A3e as defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national
> greenhouse gas inventories. It includes fuel combustion activities
> related to road transportation (1A3B), railways (1A3c) and other
> transportation (1A3e).

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_maritime_transport
> Definition: The 'maritime transport' sector refers to the IPCC
> (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source category 1A3d as
> defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas
> inventories. It includes fuel combustion activities related to maritime
> transport (1A3d).

> tendency_of_mass_concentration_of_X_in_air_due_to_emission_from_aviation
> Definition: The 'aviation' sector refers to the IPCC
> (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source category 1A3a as
> defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas
> inventories. It includes fuel combustion activities related to civil
> aviation (1A3a).

Clearly each proposed name involves a grouping together of a 'basket' of processes and doubtless different combinations could be chosen than those arrived at by the IPCC. For example, one could imagine a dataset that combined 'land_transport' and 'maritime_transport' into a 'surface_transport' category. Equally, one could imagine a dataset that subdivided the emissions into more categories than the IPCC process, e.g., 'extraction_and_distribution_of_natural_gas', 'extraction_and_refinement_of_crude_oil', and so on. The current proposals would certainly not prevent us from introducing such names for broader or narrower categories if they were required in the future. Equally they would not prevent us from introducing names for categories that overlap two or more of the current proposals, e.g., 'commercial_and_industrial_combustion'. In all these cases we would be able to construct meaningful standard names that would allow data users to answer the question of whether two quantities are comparable (the central purpose of standard names). Furthermore, it seems unlikely, based on the discussion so far in this thread, that we could design a set of standard names now that will definitively describe all possible categories and combinations of emissions that will be needed for datasets in the future. Therefore I think that we should accept Martin's proposals while recognizing that we will almost certainly need to introduce new standard names for emissions as new datasets become available.

I wonder, however, whether we could generalize the definitions a little so that the proposed names could be used for variables containing both IPCC-like and other data that fall into broadly the same categories. I think we could achieve this by using the wording that Martin has provided and recommending that additional metadata be provided as to exactly which processes are included in a particular dataset (in the same way that we ask for extra detail when using group chemical names such as 'alkanes'). For example, Martin proposes

> tendency_of_atmosphere_mass_content_of_X_due_to_emission_from_energy_production_and_distribution
> Definition: The 'energy production and distribution' sector refers to
> the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source categories
> 1A1 and 1B as defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national
> greenhouse gas inventories. It comprises fuel combustion activities
> related to energy industries (1A1) and fugitive emissions from fuels
> (1B). It may also include any not-classified or "other" combustion,
> which is commonly included in energy-related inventory data.

Perhaps we could adjust this to: 'The "energy production and distribution" sector comprises fuel combustion activities related to energy industries and fugitive emissions from fuels. It may also include any not-classified or "other" combustion, which is commonly included in energy-related inventory data. "Energy production and distribution" is the term used in standard names to describe a collection of emission sources. Where possible, the data variable should be accompanied by a complete description of the individual sources that are included, for example, by using a comment attribute. The comment attribute could be a list of sources or a reference such as "IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) source categories
1A1 and 1B as defined in the 2006 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories".'

Would this be an acceptable way forward? If anyone thinks we should take a much different approach to dealing with the emissions standard names, please can I ask for specific suggestions rather than general comments as we do need to make progress on finalising these quantities.

Best wishes,
Alison

------
Alison Pamment                          Tel: +44 1235 778065
NCAS/British Atmospheric Data Centre    Email: alison.pamment at stfc.ac.uk
STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory     
R25, 2.22
Harwell Oxford, Didcot, OX11 0QX, U.K.


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