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Reduced carbon emission estimates from fossil fuel combustion and cement production in China

Liu, Zhu and Guan, Dabo and Wei, Wei and Davis, Steven J. and Ciais, Philippe and Bai, Jin and Peng, Shushi and Zhang, Qiang and Hubacek, Klaus and Garland, Gregg and Andres, Robert J. and Crawford-Brown, Douglas and Lin, Jintai and Zhao, Hongyan and Hong, Chaopeng and Boden, Thomas A. and Feng, Kuishuang and Peters, Glen P. and Xi, Fengming and Liu, Junguo and Li, Yuan and Zhao, Yu and Zeng, Ning and He, Kevin (2015) Reduced carbon emission estimates from fossil fuel combustion and cement production in China. Nature, 524 (7565). pp. 335-338. ISSN 0028-0836. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150904-094021650

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Abstract

Nearly three-quarters of the growth in global carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and cement production between 2010 and 2012 occurred in China. Yet estimates of Chinese emissions remain subject to large uncertainty; inventories of China’s total fossil fuel carbon emissions in 2008 differ by 0.3 gigatonnes of carbon, or 15 per cent. The primary sources of this uncertainty are conflicting estimates of energy consumption and emission factors, the latter being uncertain because of very few actual measurements representative of the mix of Chinese fuels. Here we re-evaluate China’s carbon emissions using updated and harmonized energy consumption and clinker production data and two new and comprehensive sets of measured emission factors for Chinese coal. We find that total energy consumption in China was 10 per cent higher in 2000–2012 than the value reported by China’s national statistics, that emission factors for Chinese coal are on average 40 per cent lower than the default values recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and that emissions from China’s cement production are 45 per cent less than recent estimates. Altogether, our revised estimate of China’s CO_2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production is 2.49 gigatonnes of carbon (2 standard deviations = ±7.3 per cent) in 2013, which is 14 per cent lower than the emissions reported by other prominent inventories. Over the full period 2000 to 2013, our revised estimates are 2.9 gigatonnes of carbon less than previous estimates of China’s cumulative carbon emissions. Our findings suggest that overestimation of China’s emissions in 2000–2013 may be larger than China’s estimated total forest sink in 1990–2007 (2.66 gigatonnes of carbon) or China’s land carbon sink in 2000–2009 (2.6 gigatonnes of carbon).


Item Type:Article
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14677DOIArticle
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v524/n7565/full/nature14677.htmlPublisherArticle
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v524/n7565/full/nature14677.html#supplementary-informationRelated ItemSupplementary Data
Additional Information:© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 24 November 2014. Accepted 10 June 2015. Published online 19 August 2015. This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program "Climate Change: Carbon Budget and Relevant Issues" of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and by China’s National Basic Research Program and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) funded projects (grants XDA05010109, 2014CB441301, XDA05010110, XDA05010103, XDA05010101, 41328008 and 41222036). Z.L. acknowledges Harvard University Giorgio Ruffolo fellowship and support from Italy’s Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea. D.G. acknowledges the Economic and Social Research Council funded project "Dynamics of Green Growth in European and Chinese Cities" (ES/L016028) and the Philip Leverhulme Prize. S.J.D. acknowledges support from the Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Fellowships for Young International Distinguished Scientists. P.C. and S.P. acknowledge support of the European Research Council Synergy grant ERC-2013-SyG 610028-IMBALANCE-P. R.J.A. and T.A.B. were sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research under US Department of Energy contract DE-AC05-00OR22725. J. Lin acknowledges the NSFC (41422502 and 41175127). J. Liu acknowledges the International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China (2012DFA91530), the NSFC (41161140353, 91425303), The Natural Science Foundation of Beijing, China (8151002), the National Program for Support of Top-notch Young Professionals, and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (TD-JC-2013-2). F.X. acknowledges the NSFC (41473076), China CDM Fund (2013051, 2013124) and Shenyang Science and Technology Planning (F14-232-6-01, F14-134-9-00). G.P.P. acknowledges funding from the Norwegian Research Council (235523). The authors are grateful to S. Piao, L. Cao and J. Yan for insightful comments.
Group:Resnick Sustainability Institute
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Chinese Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
China's National Basic Research ProgramUNSPECIFIED
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)XDA05010109
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)2014CB441301
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)XDA05010110
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)XDA05010103
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)XDA05010101
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)41328008
Harvard University Giorgio Ruffolo fellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea (Italy)UNSPECIFIED
Economic and Social Research Council funded project "Dynamics of Green Growth in European and Chinese Cities"ES/L016028
Philip Leverhulme PrizeUNSPECIFIED
Institute of Applied EcologyUNSPECIFIED
Chinese Academy of Sciences Fellowships for Young International Distinguished ScientistsUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council Synergy grantERC-2013-SyG 610028-IMBALANCE-P
Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science DE-AC05-00OR22725
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)41422502
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)41175127
International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China2012DFA91530
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)41161140353
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)91425303
Natural Science Foundation of Beijing, China8151002
National Program for Support of Top-notch Young ProfessionalsUNSPECIFIED
Fundamental Research Funds for the Central UniversitiesTD-JC-2013-2
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)41473076
China CDM Fund2013051
China CDM Fund2013124
Shenyang Science and Technology PlanningF14-232-6-01
Shenyang Science and Technology PlanningF14-134-9-00
Norwegian Research Council235523
Subject Keywords:Climate-change mitigation, Sustainability, Climate-change policy
Issue or Number:7565
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150904-094021650
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150904-094021650
Official Citation:Reduced carbon emission estimates from fossil fuel combustion and cement production in China Zhu Liu, Dabo Guan, Wei Wei, Steven J. Davis, Philippe Ciais + et al. Nature 524, 335–338 (20 August 2015) doi:10.1038/nature14677
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:60069
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:08 Sep 2015 01:28
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 08:53

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