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Freight from space : evaluating freight activity and emissions from satellite data.
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Freight from space : evaluating freight activity and emissions from satellite data.
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    In this report, the authors investigate the current state of knowledge of freight transport emissions, the importance of freight emissions relative to other sources, and what tools are available, or can be developed to answer these questions and improve the state of knowledge in freight transportation and air quality. The authors build an updated version of a bottom-up roadway-by-roadway freight truck inventory (WIFE2.0) appropriate for conducting detailed, policy-relevant emissions and air quality analysis. They also employ a new freight rail inventory developed by the Eastern Regional Technical Advisory Committee. They evaluate the spatial and seasonal performance of the WIFE2.0 inventory modeled in a regional photochemical model (CMAQ) against an existing on-road diesel emissions inventory from the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO), against surface observations of nitrogen dioxide concentrations, and against satellite retrievals of tropospheric column nitrogen dioxide from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). Evaluation of the modeled WIFE2.0 inventory against satellite retrievals of nitrogen dioxide from OMI compared to performance of LADCO's diesel inventory showed better spatial agreement between WIFE and OMI, however with larger bias and error, especially in urban areas. Further analysis also examined the relative contribution of freight trucks and trains to modeled surface concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in a western U.S. case study. This preliminary analysis highlights the utility of satellite data for both model validation and constraining emission sources, especially in concert with ground-based monitors, with which surface and atmospheric column model performance can be compared. The wealth of data available from models, satellites, and monitors opens up a wide range of possible analysis directions for future work.
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