Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Measuring the carbon emissions of megacities

Carbon emissions from cities represent the single largest human contribution to climate change. Here we present a vision, strategy and roadmap for an international framework to assess directly the carbon emission trends of the world's megacities.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: A strategy for monitoring megacity carbon emissions.

References

  1. IEA World Energy Outlook 2008 Ch. 8, 179–193 (International Energy Agency, 2008).

  2. Peters, G. P. et al. Nature Clim. Change 2, 2–4 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Wolf, C. et al. China and India, 2025: A Comparative Assessment (RAND Corporation, 2011).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Rosenzweig, C., Solecki, W., Hammer, S. A. & Mehrotra, S. Nature 467, 909–911 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. City of Los Angeles. Green LA: An Action Plan to Lead the Nation in Fighting Global Warming (2007); available at http://www.ci.la.ca.us/ead/pdf/GreenLA_CAP_2007.pdf

  6. Committee on Methods for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements (National Academies Press, 2010).

  7. Guan, D. et al. Nature Clim. Change 10.1038/nclimate1560 (2012).

  8. Rayner, P. J., Raupach, M. R., Paget, M., Peylin, P. & Koffi, E. J. Geophys. Res. 115, D19306 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Hoornweg, D. et al. Cities and Climate Change: An Urgent Agenda (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank, 2010).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Gurney, K. R. et al. Environ. Sci. Technol. 43, 5535–5541 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Townsend-Small, A., Tyler, S. C., Pataki, D. E., Xu, X. & Christensen, L. E. J. Geophys. Res. 117, D07308 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. http://hqweb.unep.org/ccac

  13. McKain, K. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 109, 8423–84289 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Wunch, D., Wennberg, P. O., Toon, G. C., Keppel-Aleks, G. & Yavin, Y. G. Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L15810 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Clerbaux, C. et al. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L22807 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Mays, K. L. et al. Environ. Sci. Technol. 43, 7816–7823 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs World Urbanization Prospects, the 2011 Revision (United Nations 2012); available at http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/index.htm.

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful for discussions with many colleagues in the international carbon cycle science community, local officials, government agencies and non-governmental organizations. This work was done at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Riley M. Duren.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Duren, R., Miller, C. Measuring the carbon emissions of megacities. Nature Clim Change 2, 560–562 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1629

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1629

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing