Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis of modeling plant CO2 exchange in the built environment

Peiyuan Li, Zhi Hua Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The dynamics of carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange in the built environment, coupled with local microclimate modeling, is of critical importance to the understanding of emergent patterns of longterm urban climate evolution. In addition to the complex model physics, the difficulty is outstanding to characterize uncertainties inherited in the parameter space and its impact on the model performance and predictive skills. In this study, we conducted a series of numerical simulations based on advanced Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms to quantify the sensitivity of a recently developed modeling framework by coupling the dynamics of CO2 transport into a single-layer urban canopy model. The results show that urban morphology (canyon aspect ratio), irrigation, and the physiological properties of urban vegetation predominate the processes of plant CO2 exchange in the built environment. In contrast, the CO2 budget is relatively insensitive to material properties of urban facets in the built environment. The findings in this study can help to unravel the interplay of urban carbon dynamics and the built environment, as well as to inform researchers and policy makers for sustainable urban development towards a low carbon city.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107539
JournalBuilding and Environment
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Carbon exchange
  • Markov chain Monte Carlo
  • Model sensitivity
  • Plant physiology
  • Soil respiration
  • Urban environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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