Anthropogenic emissions

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On this page we list information about the various anthropogenic emissions inventories available for use w/ GEOS-Chem v8-02-03 and higher versions.

Global inventories

Inventory Base Year Region NOx CO PRPE C3H8 ALK4 C2H6 ACET MEK ALD2 CH2O BENZ TOLU XYLE C2H4 C2H2 SO2 SO4 NH3 Variability
EDGAR 2000 global x x x season (NOx, SOx)
RETRO 2000 global x x x x x x x x x x x x month
GEIA 1985 global x x x x x x x x x x x season (NOx, SOx)


Please see our EDGAR anthropogenic emissions wiki page for more information about the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) inventory,

--Bob Y. 11:39, 20 December 2012 (EST)


RETRO anthropogenic VOC emissions are the recommended default for anthropogenic VOC emissions. The RETRO inventory has improved temporal and spatial resolution and a more inclusive suite of speciated NMVOCs than many of the other optional inventories.


Previously, this was the baseline anthropogenic emissions inventory in GEOS-Chem.

Description from Wang et al [1998]:

A global NOx emission inventory (21 Tg N/yr) from fossil fuel combustion has been compiled by the Global Emission Inventory Activity [Benkovitz et al 1996] with a 1° x 1° resolution....
Our global CO emission inventory includes 390 TG CO/yr from fossil fuel combustion and industrial activities and 130 Tg CO/yr from wood fuel burning. This inventory has a resolution of 1° x 1° and is aseasonal....
We adopted the country-by-country inventory of Piccot et al [1992] for emissions of paraffins (45 Tg C/yr) and olefins (18 Tg C/yr) from fossil fuel combustion and industrial activity. The emissions within each country were distributed on the basis of population density using a 1° x 1° population map [Benkovitz et al 1996]. The Piccot et al inventory gives no information on the speciation of paraffins and olefins; a speciation of emissions for the United states is, however, available from NAPAP [Middleton et al 1990]....On the basis of [additional data from Harvard Forest], we modify the NAPAP apportionment of paraffins....Assuming the NHMC speciation for the United States to be globally representative, we deduce global emission rates of 6.3 Tg C/yr of Ethane, 6.8 Tg C/yr of propane, 30 Tg C/yr of >=C4 alkanes, 1.0 Tg C/yr of acetone, 1.0 Tg C/yr of higher ketones, and 10.4 Tg C/yr of >=C3 alkenes.


  • Benkovitz, C. M., M. T. Scholtz, J. Pacyna, L. Tarrason, J. Dignon, E. C. Voldner, P. A. Spiro, J. A. Logan, and T. E. Graedel, Global gridded inventories of anthropogenic emissions of sulfur and nitrogen, J. Geophys. Res., 101(D22), 29,239-29,253, 1996.
  • Middleton, P., W.R. Stockwell, and W.P.L. Carter, Aggregation and analysis of volatile organic carbon emissions for regional modeling, Atmos. Env., 24A, 1107-1133, 1990.
  • Piccot, S.D., J.J. Watson, and J.W. Jones. A global inventory of volatile organic compound emissions from anthropogenic sources, J. Geophys. Res., 97, 9897-9912, 1992.
  • Wang, Y., D.J. Jacob, and J.A. Logan, Global simulation of tropospheric O3-NOx-hydrocarbon chemistry, 1. Model formulation, J. Geophys. Res., 103, D9,10,713-10,726, 1998. PDF

Regional inventories

These inventories can be used to "overwrite" the global emissions inventories in specific regions of the world.

We recommend that you turn on the regional emissions (e.g. BRAVO, CAC, EPA/NEI05, EMEP, etc.), which will override the default underlying global emissions (e.g. EDGAR). To select these emissions inventories, you will have to modify the EMISSIONS MENU section of the input.geos input file. For detailed instructions, please see Section of the GEOS-Chem Users' Guide.

Inventory Base Year Region NOx CO PRPE C3H8 ALK4 C2H6 ACET MEK ALD2 CH2O SO2 SO4 NH3 BC/OC Variability
CAC 2002,2005 Canada x x x x
EMEP 1980-2005 Europe x x x x x x x x x month (NOx,SOx,CO,NH3)
EPA (ICARTT) 1999 (2004) USA x x x x x x x x x x x x month, weekday/weekend
VISTAS 2002 USA x month
BRAVO 1999 Mexico x x x
STREETS 2000 (2004) 2000 (2004) S.E. Asia x x x x month (NOx,CO,NH3)
STREETS 2006 2006 S.E. Asia x x x x x x x x x x x month (NOx,CO)
COOKE 1996 N. America x month


Big Bend Regional Aerosol and Visibility Observational (BRAVO) Study Emissions Inventory for Mexico and some neighboring U.S. states.

  • Big Bend Regional Aerosol and Visibility Observational (BRAVO) Study Emissions Inventory, H. Kuhns, M. Green, and V. Etyemezian, 2003. PDF


The Criteria Air Contaminants (CAC) inventory is a regional inventory of anthropogenic emissions over Canada. For more information about the data files, please see this README file.

Ammonia emissions

This update was tested in the 1-month benchmark simulation v9-02l and approved on 26 Jun 2013.

The latest anthropogenic ammonia (NH3) emissions inventory over Canada is provided by Agriculture Canada, acquired from detailed surveys on monthly emissions of five agricultural categories: beef, dairy, fertilizer, poultry, and swine. For more information about the data files, please see this README file.

David Streets

Please see our David Streets regional emissions for China and SE Asia wiki page for information about the regional inventories created by David Streets and colleagues.

--Bob Y. 11:20, 20 December 2012 (EST)


Please see our EMEP European anthropogenic emissions wiki page for more information about The Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP) European emissions inventory.

--Bob Y. 12:17, 20 December 2012 (EST)


Please visit our page for the EPA/NEI08 North American emissions.


Please visit our page for the EPA/NEI05 North American emissions.


Please visit our page for the EPA/NEI99 North American emissions.

Annual scale factors for anthropogenic emissions inventories

Please see our new Scale factors for anthropogenic emissions wiki page for the latest information about scale factors for anthropogenic emissions inventories used in GEOS-Chem.

The " => Scale to (1985-2005)" option in input.geos will scale all anthropogenic emissions to the year that you select, unless data for that year exists. If you enter a negative number (recommended), emissions will be automatically scaled to the closest-to-simulation year and/or the best base year is selected when several are available in one inventory (like EMEP). It is recommended to set this field to -1 or 2006 for simulations after 2005, so that all inventories are scaled to 2005, and STREETS 2006 is used in SE ASIA.

Here is a brief explanation from van Donkelaar et al., ACPD, 8, 4017-4057, 2008:

We scale all regional and global inventories from their respective base year to 2003, the last year of available statistics, unless its base year is after 2003. Our approach follows Bey et al. (2001) and Park et al. (2004). Emissions are scaled according to estimates provided by individual countries, where available. These countries/regions include the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe. NOx emissions of remaining countries are scaled proportional to changes in total CO2 emissions. SOx emissions are similarly scaled to solid fuel CO2 emissions and CO emissions to liquid fuel CO2 emissions. CO2 emission data are obtained from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC).

Note that the scale factor have been updated since that paper to go up to 2005, and are based on REAS data now for South East Asia:

Relative changes in the REAS inventory (Ohara et al., ACP, [2007], over East Asia have been used. This should be a good improvement as REAS emissions are gridded, rather than national scale emissions, giving us much better spatial detail. Also, these scalars are now based on actual NOx, SOx and CO emission estimates, not strictly an assumed proportionality between total, solid and liquid CO2 emissions.

Seasonal scale factors for anthropogenic emissions inventories

Seasonal scale factors are described on the Scale factors for anthropogenic emissions wiki page.

Diurnal variation for anthropogenic NOx emissions

The diurnal variation for NOx is described on the Scale factors for anthropogenic emissions wiki page.

Other resources

Please see the following references for more information about anthropogenic emissions in GEOS-Chem:

  1. Anthropogenic emissions in GEOS-Chem v8-02-03
  2. Anthropogenic emissions in GEOS-Chem v8-01-04
  3. Anthropogenic emissions prior to v8-01-01

Previous issues that are now resolved

Anthropogenic ethane emissions are too low

This update was tested in the 1-month benchmark simulation v9-01-03i and approved on 26 Mar 2012.

In addition to RETRO anthropogenic ethane emissions being too low, Emily Fischer found that ethane emissions in the EPA/NEI2005, Streets, and EMEP regional inventories are also too low. Therefore, these regional ethane emissions should not overwrite the global anthropogenic ethane emissions provided by Yaping Xiao. This update is slated for implementation into GEOS-Chem v9-01-03, as part of the update to replace RETRO C2H6 emissions with emissions from the offline C2H6 simulation.

Prevent negative emissions over Canada

NOTE: This bug fix is slated for inclusion in 1-month benchmark v9-02m. This update is included in Adjoint v35.

Fabien Paulot wrote:

I think I found a nasty bug in CAC emissions. I am getting negative emissions, for 200611 for all anthropogenic species in Canada (standard code v9.1.3). I think this is related to line 413, where some linear interpolation is performed, assuming that 2005 emissions will be greater than 2002 emissions in every grid box.
We should set the emissions to 0 when 2002 exceeds 2005 by more than a factor of three.
Anyway, the bug will get worse and worse after 2006.

Christoph Keller wrote:

I didn't check it quantitatively, but this makes sense!
What if we add a simple where statement after line 413:
   WHERE ( GEOS_1x1 < 0d0 )
      GEOS_1x1 = 0d0

Fabien Paulot wrote:

Yes this would work. I haven't checked the nested simulation. There may be an error there too.
Note this will only affect 2006 and 2007

--Melissa Payer 13:51, 23 March 2012 (EDT)

Outstanding issues not yet resolved