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Changes in CO2 Emission Sources in Mexico City Metropolitan Area Deduced from Radiocarbon Concentrations in Tree Rings

  • Laura E Beramendi-Orosco (a1) (a2), Galia González-Hernández (a3) (a2), Angeles Martínez-Reyes (a4), Ofelia Morton-Bermea (a3), Francisco J Santos-Arévalo (a5), Isabel Gómez-Martínez (a5) and José Villanueva-Díaz (a6)...
Abstract

We present radiocarbon (14C) in tree rings from Mexico City and a reconstruction of fossil CO2 concentrations for the last five decades, as part of a research program to understand the 14C dynamics in this complex urban area. Background values were established by 14C concentrations in tree rings from a nearby clean area. Agreement between background and NH-zone 2 values indicate Taxodium mucronatum is a good biomonitor for annual atmospheric 14C variations. Values for the urban tree rings were significantly lower than background values, indicating a 14C depletion from fossil CO2 emissions. There is an increasing trend of fossil CO2 between 1960 and 1990, in agreement with the population growth and the increasing demand for fossil fuels in Mexico City. Between 1990 and 2000, there is an apparent decrease in fossil CO2 concentration, increasing again after 2000. The decrease in 2000, despite being of the same magnitude as the overall uncertainty, may reflect environmental policies that improved the energy efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions in the area. The increase in fossil CO2 concentration between 2000 and 2010 may be attributable to the significant growth of motor vehicle usage in Mexico City, which made transportation the main energy-demanding and -emitting sector.

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*Corresponding author. Email: laurab@geologia.unam.mx.
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Radiocarbon
  • ISSN: 0033-8222
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