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In the cities more dense, there is less carbon dioxide per capita
the ROME - A new Nasa study on carbon dioxide emissions-conducted out of the twenty major cities of the world provides the first direct evidence, based on satellites, that the increase of the population density of a city, the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted per person has decreased. The study also clarifies how the satellite measurements of this greenhouse gas can provide to the rapidly growing city of new tools to track carbon dioxide emissions and assess the impact of changes to policies and infrastructure improvements on their energy efficiency.

atmospheric scientists Dien Wu and John Lin of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, have collaborated with colleagues from the Goddard Space Flight Center of Nasa in Greenbelt, Maryland and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, to calculate the per capita emissions of carbon dioxide for twenty urban areas in different continents, using estimates of carbon dioxide available recently by the Orbiting Carbon Observatory Nasa-2 (OCO-2) satellite, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the agency in Pasadena, California. The city with vegetation minimum were chosen because the plants can absorb and emit carbon dioxide, complicating the interpretation of the measurements. They also included two u.s. cities: Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study has found that the cities with a population density higher typically have carbon dioxide emissions per capita are lower. "Our question was, essentially: when the people live in cities more densely populated, emit less carbon dioxide? The general response our analysis suggests that yes, the emissions of the city's most densely populated are lower," said Eric Kort , one of the main members of the research team and associate professor of climatology, space science and engineering at the University of Michigan.

scientists have hypothesized that the urban areas are more densely populated emit generally less carbon dioxide per person because they are more efficient from the point of view of energy: that is, less energy is needed per person in these areas because of factors such as the use of public transport and the heating and cooling of multi-family dwellings at magnitudes of scale. The satellite data will improve our understanding of this relationship because it describes the combined emissions from all sources. This information can be combined with data on the ground that are more specific to help city leaders to plan for growth more efficient from the energy point of view, and to develop improved estimates of future emissions of carbon dioxide.

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