Assessing Impacts of Environmental Perturbations on Urban Biogenic Carbon Exchange in the Chicago Region

Peiyuan Li, Ashish Sharma, Zhi Hua Wang, Donald Wuebbles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbon dioxide (CO2) quantification is critical for assessing city-level carbon emissions and sustainable urban development. While urban vegetation has the potential to provide environmental benefits, such as heat and carbon mitigation, the CO2 exchange from biogenic sectors and its impact from the environmental perturbations are often overlooked. It is also challenging to simulate the plant functions in the complex urban terrain. This study presents a processed-based modeling approach to assess the biogenic carbon fluxes from the vegetated areas over the Chicago Metropolitan Area (CMA) using the Weather Research and Forecast—Urban Biogenic Carbon exchange model. We investigate the change of CO2 sink power in CMA under heatwaves and irrigation. The results indicate that the vegetation plays a significant role in the city's carbon portfolio and the landscaping management has the potential to reduce carbon emissions significantly. Furthermore, based on the competing mechanisms in the biogenic carbon balance identified in this study, we develop a novel Environmental Benefit Score metrics framework to identify the vulnerability and mitigation measures associated with nature-based solutions (NbS) within CMA. By using the generalized portable framework and our science-policy confluence analysis presented in this study, global cities can maximize the effectiveness of NbS and accelerate carbon neutrality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023MS003867
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • irrigation
  • land use
  • mitigation and adaptation
  • urban biogenic CO exchange
  • urban heat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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