MEIC published the global multi-scale dynamic CO2 emission database

2022-11-16 | MEIC Team

The emergence and evolution of a series of climatic and environmental problems, including climate change, ice sheet destruction, stratospheric ozone depletion, photochemical pollution, and haze pollution, are all associated with various greenhouse gases and pollutants emitted into the atmosphere from human activities. Thus, accurate quantification of emission fluxes and spatiotemporal distributions, characterization and projection of spatiotemporal changes in emission, and exploration of mechanism of anthropogenic impact on emission evolution, are all frontier research questions in the field of atmospheric science and climate change as well as the common challenges faced by all the human societies.

Targeting on these issues, Tsinghua University established a technical framework of high-spatiotemporal-resolution emission inventories for air pollutants with the support from a series of national scientific research projects and developed the Multi-resolution Emission Inventory for China (MEIC-China) with completely independent intellectual property rights. MEIC-China has developed multiple versions of emission data products on atmospheric pollutants and CO2 that are accessible through the online platform. MEIC data have been widely used by research institutes and operational organizations around the world.

On the basis of MEIC-China, the MEIC team cooperates with the team of China Emission Accounts and Datasets (CEADs), Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and other institutions and research teams, to develop intelligent fusion and modeling technologies of multi-source big data as well as establish big-data-based original methods for dynamic emission characterization with high spatial and temporal resolution. As a result, the Multi-resolution Emission Inventory model for Climate and air pollution research (also referred to as MEIC for short) has been established to meet the needs of global climate and air pollution research. MEIC builds a global multi-scale atmospheric emission database with long time series, high spatial and temporal resolution, and dynamic updates, aiming to promote China’s research in the field of global atmospheric emission accounting, and provide emission data supporting global climate change and air pollution research.

First, an algorithm of intelligence fusion is developed targeting heterogeneous big data from multiple sources. It integrates the massive global anthropogenic activity rates across different scales, which are collected and collated from more than 130 public or commercial databases. In this way, standard data cubes of activity rates are built, including 55 sectors, 42 fuel types, 208 countries or territories, over 800 sub-country administrative divisions, and more than 100,000 facilities. Second, the technologies of dynamic emission quantification with high spatiotemporal resolution are respectively established based on big data for the non-aggregated activity rates in key sectors such as energy-intensive industries, road transport, marine navigation, and aviation. This achieves the non-aggregated characterization of activity rates and emissions for ~100,000 highly energy-consuming facilities, 2.3 billion motor vehicles, more than 140,000 air routes, and over 800,000 sea voyages worldwide, systematically improving spatial and temporal representativeness of emissions. The big-data model covers power industry, iron and steel industry, cement industry, road transport sector, aviation sector, and navigation sector, which totally account for 70% of global CO2 emissions in 2021. Third, dynamic technology of scale conversion module with spatiotemporal integration is developed based on a mass of highly-resolved data, and allows seamless continuous accounting across “global, country, sub-country, enterprise, and grid” spatial scales as well as “annual, monthly, and daily” temporal scales. Then, an online technology platform for operational application is built, which realizes online dynamic calculation, visual analysis, data download and dynamic update of global multi-scale emission data.

Figure 1 Per capital CO2 emission of each country worldwide in 2021

MEIC-Global model covers the emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement process with 55 sectors, 42 fossil fuel types, and totally about 1800 sources. The database includes 208 countries or territories worldwide, and the temporal coverage is from 1970 to present. It is dynamically updated every year. MEIC allows data fusion across global, country, sub-country, enterprise, and grid scales in space and provides multi-scale seamless continuous emission data in space and time. The published data includes global CO2 emission during 1970-2021, covering 208 countries or territories, four major sectors (electricity and heat production, industries and construction, transport, as well as residential and commercial) and four fuel types (coal, oil, nature gas, and other fuels) and process emission from cement production. The MEIC website provides customized interactive data map display, map plotting, data downloading functions as well as user-friendly online dynamic calculation and visualized analyses.

Figure 2 Global CO2 emission by sector in 1970-2021

Users can download the previously described data after register and log in the MEIC website. Welcome to download the MEIC data and provide valuable feedback. The MEIC team welcome communication and cooperation in various ways. Please contact us at