Urban flask measurements of CO2ff and CO to identify emission sources at different site types in Auckland, New Zealand. Journal Article uri icon



  • As part of the CarbonWatch-NZ research programme, air samples were collected at 28 sites around Auckland, New Zealand, to determine the atmospheric ratio (RCO) of excess (local enhancement over background) carbon monoxide to fossil CO2 (CO2ff). Sites were categorized into seven types (background, forest, industrial, suburban, urban, downwind and motorway) to observe RCO around Auckland. Motorway flasks observed RCO of 14 ± 1 ppb ppm-1 and were used to evaluate traffic RCO. The similarity between suburban (14 ± 1 ppb ppm-1) and traffic RCO suggests that traffic dominates suburban CO2ff emissions during daytime hours, the period of flask collection. The lower urban RCO (11 ± 1 ppb ppm-1) suggests that urban CO2ff emissions are comprised of more than just traffic, with contributions from residential, commercial and industrial sources, all with a lower RCO than traffic. Finally, the downwind sites were believed to best represent RCO for Auckland City overall (11 ± 1 ppb ppm-1). We demonstrate that the initial discrepancy between the downwind RCO and Auckland's estimated daytime inventory RCO (15 ppb ppm-1) can be attributed to an overestimation in inventory traffic CO emissions. After revision based on our observed motorway RCO, the revised inventory RCO (12 ppb ppm-1) is consistent with our observations. This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue 'Radiocarbon in the Anthropocene'.

publication date

  • November 27, 2023

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • October 12, 2023 8:46 AM

Full Author List

  • Young HA; Turnbull JC; Keller ED; Domingues LG; Parry-Thompson J; Hilton TW; Brailsford GW; Gray S; Moss RC; Mikaloff-Fletcher S

author count

  • 10

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-2962

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 20220204


  • 381


  • 2261