Changing places, changing emissions: the cross-scale reliability of greenhouse gas emission inventories in the US

William E. Easterling, Colin Polsky, Doug Goodin, Michael W. Mayfield, William A. Muraco, Brent Yarnal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventories, which currently inform abatement policy discussions, are developed mostly from national scale data. Nevtherless, althouth the policy debate tends to take place in global and national areans, action to abate GHG emissions is inherently within the provenance of local institutions and communities. The purpose of this paper is to examine how much information is lost by not estimating GHG emissions data at scales finer than the whole US. Such information may be critical in bridging global and local policy. Differences in the composition of GHG emission sources based on GHG emission inventories at three nested spatial scales (national, state, local) for four study sites (in Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania) are analysed, drawing upon initial results of a large collaborative study known as the 'Association of American Geographers-Global Change in Local Places (GCLP)' project. The concept of spatial sovereignty of emissions is developed to test the cross-scale reliability of emission inventories. For the test year 1990, close agreement is found in the by-gas composition of GHG emissions among national, state and local inventories. Spatial sovereignty in this composition of GHG emissions along national, state and local inventories. Spatial sovereignty in this case is not maintained. Regular compilation of state and local emissions source inventories may be necessary to track important spatial and temporal deviations from national trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-262
Number of pages16
JournalLocal Environment
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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