Dr. Gurney stated that the errors gave the impression to be easy miscalculations. “I don’t think there’s any attempt to systematically or intentionally underestimate emissions,” he stated. Although some cities accurately estimated their emissions, he famous, although “whether that’s right for the right reasons or right for the wrong reasons, it’s difficult to know.”
Dr. Gurney’s work receives funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and one of many authors, Kimberly Mueller, is a scientist there. James R. Whetstone, an official within the institute’s greenhouse gasoline measurement program, known as the brand new paper “an important step forward” in correctly measuring greenhouse gases from cities. “What will serve the nation best is if we have a consistent way to state emissions that goes from the city level to the national level,” he stated.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, he famous, focuses a lot of its efforts on atmospheric monitoring, and so Dr. Gurney’s technique might help “to measure the same thing in different ways,” and thus acquire confidence within the outcomes.
Earlier research by researchers on the University of Michigan, Harvard and the federal authorities discovered that emissions of methane, one other highly effective greenhouse gasoline, were also undercounted by many cities. Dr. Gurney stated that “both gasses should really be part of this systematic approach.”
The cities’ efforts to this point, Dr. Gurney stated, have been a laudable endeavor, however “they haven’t had a lot of tools to do it.” What’s extra, he stated, “Cities are struggling to pick up the garbage and fill potholes, much less keep detailed reports about their emissions.”
Reducing emissions in a metropolis, he stated, requires a deep understanding of the place the largest issues are, together with particular traffic-choked highways and industries, in order that the authorities can take targeted actions that present the best profit on the lowest value. Putting in high-occupancy car lanes or fast bus lanes on each freeway may very well be wasteful; it will be higher, he stated, to know which highway initiatives may do essentially the most good.