We developed a four-dimensional variational (4DVAR) data assimilation system for a regional chemical transport model (CTM). In this study, we applied it to inverse modeling of CO emissions in the eastern Asia during April 2001 and demonstrated the feasibility of our assimilation system. Three ground-based observations were used for data assimilation. Assimilated results showed better agreement with observations; they reduced the RMS difference by 16-27%. Observations obtained on board the R/V Ronald H. Brown were used for independent validation of the assimilated results. The CO emissions over industrialized east central China between Shanghai and Beijing were increased markedly by the assimilation. The results show that the annual anthropogenic (fossil and biofuel combustion) CO emissions over China are 147 Tg. Sensitivity analyses using the adjoint model indicate that the high CO concentration measured on 17 April at Rishiri, Japan (which the assimilation was unable to reproduce) originated in Russia or had traveled from outside the Asian region (e.g. Europe).
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