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I gather that higher-than-ambient CO2 "domes" can form above urban areas, enhancing other local air pollution. Are there papers or datasets of average CO2 concentrations down at ground level (say 0-20 metres upwards from the ground), in the spaces between buildings - streets, parks and so on?

From what I've read, CO2 concentrations at higher levels are more temporally stable, but understate concentrations across the city; whereas monitoring stations down at street level give representative concentrations for that specific place, but are temporally highly variable, and comparisons between sites suggest that they are spatially highly variable too.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'd like to see a reference for that first sentence. Seems quite surprising to me that the effect could be strong enough to make a measurable difference to temperature (let alone separable from the urban heat island effect). $\endgroup$ – naught101 Sep 8 '14 at 1:09
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    $\begingroup$ @naught101 thanks for the comment, which motivated me to re-find the paper where I thought I'd got that titbit from. On re-reading, I think I'd mis-remembered it first time, and have edited my question accordingly. I apologise for my mistake. Thanks for spotting it. $\endgroup$ – EnergyNumbers Sep 8 '14 at 5:30
  • $\begingroup$ No need to apologise :) Interesting question. I imagine you'd find very different answers for different urban types (high rises, high density low-rises, suburban areas). And you'd also see a massive daily cycle, as the fumes from transport dissipate overnight. But I wonder about that paper - it says that "CO2 emissions in isolation may increase local ozone and particulate matter", but what would be the mechanism? Sounds like a classic case of covariance mis-attributed as causality. I also really hate their use of "enhance" - such meaningless business speak. $\endgroup$ – naught101 Sep 8 '14 at 5:50
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    $\begingroup$ @naught101 I'm curious about the causal mechanism too. Dammit, I'm probably going to have to read the paper properly now. $\endgroup$ – EnergyNumbers Sep 8 '14 at 8:16
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps see work by Pataki et al, eg this one. @naught101 (re the look in the o.p.) presumably the causal mechanisms are encoded in the simulation model that is referred to in the abstract $\endgroup$ – David LeBauer Sep 14 '14 at 1:55
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Are there papers or datasets of average CO2 concentrations down at ground level (say 0-20 metres upwards from the ground), in the spaces between buildings - streets, parks and so on?

Yes, THE URBAN CO2 DOME OF PHOENIX, ARIZONA has measurements at a height of 2 meters above ground level, 1.6 km horizontal resolution. CO2 concentrations are 555 ppm near the center of the city.

An intensive two-week study of an urban CO2 dome in Phoenix, Arizona, USA has higher resolution data along selected transects.

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