Case Study: ODIAC

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EfSI offers a solution to existing gaps in global emission inventories

Urban areas account for more than 70% of Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, and cities are increasingly exercising their collective authority to act on global sustainability issues like climate change. Global networks of city and town governments, such as the Global Covenant of Mayors for climate and energy, have committed to increasing local action on climate change. Yet, despite the urgent need for this action, city-level leaders are up against a major information hurdle - access to actionable data on pollution levels from fossil fuels. Emission inventories have rarely been available at the city-level, or across time. In the absence of this data, city governments cannot measure their progress on emissions reductions and therefore effectively plan towards emissions management, or even assess how well in-place urban policies are working.

Scientists from the Earth from Space Institute are able to respond to this gap with the Open-sourced Data Inventory for Anthropogenic CO2 (ODIAC), a global spatially-explicit emissions inventory available at high resolution (1km x 1km), a scale that is actionable for cities.

The ODIAC product was originally developed at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) under the Greenhouse gas Observing SATellite (GOSAT) project. ODIAC is modeled by fusing national CO2 emissions inventories that have been downscaled by satellite-observed nighttime lights (non-point sources) with power plant emission intensities measured at their specific locations (point sources). By integrating these data sets, ODIAC it makes possible to implement GHG budget analyses using the inventory-based emission information and the realistic emission spatial patterns. Such analyses allows stakeholders to assess progress on GHG management towards global accords, such as the Paris Agreement, especially using atmospheric observations from Japan's GOSAT and NASA's OCO-2 and OCO-3 satellite missions.

EfSI scientists and their collaborators have been working to improve the accuracy of ODIAC product in higher (~30 meter) spatial resolutions. To achieve this goal, ODIAC will incorporate data from the Black Marble product suite and according to recent results from simulations seem very promising. ODIAC aims to serve as an interface between scientific GHG emission analysis and policy making with the goal to help provide solutions and turn cities into low-carbon smart cities of the future.

U.S. cities in the dark - ODIAC based on Black Marble's nightlight data

ODIAC representative visual
A high-resolution image of spatially-explicit CO2 emission estimates over the Northeast U.S. CO2 emissions reported by the Environmental Protection Agency were distributed using point source profiles and NASA’s Black Marble nighttime product.

References & Resources

Oda, T., Maksyutov, S., and Andres, R. J.: The Open-source Data Inventory for Anthropogenic CO2, version 2016 (ODIAC2016): a global monthly fossil fuel CO2gridded emissions data product for tracer transport simulations and surface flux inversions, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 87-107,, 2018

Román, M., Wang, Z., Sun, Q., Kalb, V., Miller, S.D., Molthan, A.L., Schultz, L.A., Bell, J.R., Stokes, E., Seto, K., Pandey, B., Hall, D.K., Oda, T., Wolfe, R.E., Lin, G., Golpayegani, N., Devadiga, S., Davidson, C.C., Sarkar, S., Praderas, C., Schmaltz, J., Boller, R.A., Stevens, J., Ramos Gonzalez, O.M., Padilla, E., Alonso, J., Detres, Y., Armstrong, R., Miranda, I., Conte, Y., Marrero, N., MacManus, K., Esch, T., Masuoka, E.J. “NASA’s Black Marble Standard Product Suite”, Remote Sensing of Environment, 210, 113-143, DOI:, 2018