Fossil fuel CO2 (FFCO2) emissions are recognized as the dominant greenhouse gas driving climate change (Enting et. al., 1995; Conway et al., 1994; Francey et al., 1995; Bousquet et. al.,…
Fossil fuel CO2 (FFCO2) emissions are recognized as the dominant greenhouse gas driving climate change (Enting et. al., 1995; Conway et al., 1994; Francey et al., 1995; Bousquet et. al., 1999). Transportation is a major component of FFCO2 emissions, especially in urban areas. An improved understanding of on-road FFCO2 emission at high spatial resolution is essential to both carbon science and mitigation policy. Though considerable research has been accomplished within a few high-income portions of the planet such as the United States and Western Europe, little work has attempted to comprehensively quantify high-resolution on-road FFCO2 emissions globally. Key questions for such a global quantification are: (1) What are the driving factors for on-road FFCO2 emissions? (2) How robust are the relationships? and (3) How do on-road FFCO2 emissions vary with urban form at fine spatial scales?
This study used urban form/socio-economic data combined with self-reported on-road FFCO2 emissions for a sample of global cities to estimate relationships within a multivariate regression framework based on an adjusted STIRPAT model. The on-road high-resolution (whole-city) regression FFCO2 model robustness was evaluated by introducing artificial error, conducting cross-validation, and assessing relationship sensitivity under various model specifications. Results indicated that fuel economy, vehicle ownership, road density and population density were statistically significant factors that correlate with on-road FFCO2 emissions. Of these four variables, fuel economy and vehicle ownership had the most robust relationships.
A second regression model was constructed to examine the relationship between global on-road FFCO2 emissions and urban form factors (described by population
density, road density, and distance to activity centers) at sub-city spatial scales (1 km2). Results showed that: 1) Road density is the most significant (p<2.66e-037) predictor of on-road FFCO2 emissions at the 1 km2 spatial scale; 2) The correlation between population density and on-road FFCO2 emissions for interstates/freeways varies little by city type. For arterials, on-road FFCO2 emissions show a stronger relationship to population density in clustered cities (slope = 0.24) than dispersed cities (slope = 0.13). FFCO2 3) The distance to activity centers has a significant positive relationship with on-road FFCO2 emission for the interstate and freeway toad types, but an insignificant relationship with the arterial road type.