About MEIC

The Multi-resolution Emission Inventory for China (MEIC), developed and maintained by Tsinghua University since 2010, is designed to establish high-resolution anthropogenic air pollutant and carbon dioxide emission inventories for China. MEIC provides emissions data to the scientific community based on the cloud computing platform, which benefits scientific research, policy assessment, and air quality management.

Objective >

Anthropogenic emissions in China have been continuously rising in recent years, causing negative impacts on the environment and climate. It is of great interest in both scientific research and policy management to quantify emission fluxes and explore their relationship with human activities. Accurate, complete, and timely-updated emission inventories are essential to identify emission sources and to support policy-making and air quality management.

With the fast industrialization and urbanization, air pollutants in China have been changing rapidly in terms of spatial and temporal distributions, which pose a great challenge to emission quantification. Such complex emission changes call for a higher technic to accurately and timely reflect the emission fluxes. However, the unified emission inventory technology in China has not been established yet. Existing inventories applied a diversity of technologies and are limited to large uncertainties, low resolution, and low efficiency in data update, which is hard to satisfy the policy-making and scientific research requirement.

Over the past two decades, benefited from the long-term support from 863 Program, 973 Program, National Key Research and Development Plan, National Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Research Program for Key Issues in Air Pollution Control, and other scientific programs, Tsinghua University has made substantial progress in the accurate, high-resolution quantification of air pollutant emissions, which is in line with China’s actual conditions and has its own technical characteristics and completely independent intellectual property rights. Tsinghua University has developed the Multi-resolution Emission Inventory for China (MEIC), built the unified emission source categories, the local emission factor database, and the technology- and process-based approaches to estimate emissions. A multi-scale high-resolution emission source model was further developed, which is seamlessly connected with the mainstream atmospheric chemistry model. In addition, the real-time dynamic computing and online download of emission inventories were achieved through the integration of cloud computing and big data technology.

The MEIC model can provide multi-scale emission inventories online, including 10 major air pollutants and carbon dioxide from more than 700 anthropogenic sources in China since 1990. The emission inventories from the MEIC model have been widely used by numerous research institutes and enterprises both in the domestic and overseas. Besides, this model has not only supported several large-scale research projects such as MICS-ASIA, HTAP, and CEDS, but also been widely used in domestic research such as air pollution source apportionment, air quality forecast system, and air pollution control policy assessment.

In the future, our team will devote full effort to the development of the MEIC into an open and world-class emission model and provide high-quality technical support for scientific research and policy-making.

Features >

  • Include ten pollutants and CO2 emissions (SO2, NOx, CO, NMVOC, NH3, PM2.5, PM10, BC, OC, and CO2) from more than 700 anthropogenic sources in mainland China.
  • Use unified methodology and dataset to assure transparency and comparability. Version management for code and data. Continuously updated.
  • Integrate the up-to-date dynamic methodology and local emission factor database.
  • Provide model-ready emissions input for air quality models with high spatial and temporal resolutions and multiple chemical mechanisms.
  • Provide gridded emissions online through the cloud computing platform.

Histories >

The MEIC model was developed since 2010. Four versions are available at present.

  • Version v1.0 was completed in 2012. In this version, the basic technical framework of the MEIC model was constructed and the multi-pollutant emission inventory of China from 1990 to 2010 was compiled.
  • Version v1.2 was completed in 2015. In this version, the MEIC website was put into operation to provide online calculation and download of gridded emissions data based on the cloud computing and big data platform. Meanwhile, the basic input data such as energy consumptions and emission factors were systematically revised, and the spatiotemporal allocation proxies of emissions were updated. The emission inventory was updated to 2012.
  • Version v1.3 was completed in 2018. In this version, we accurately quantified anthropogenic emission trends since the implementation of the Clean Air Action in China. The emission inventory was updated to 2017.
  • Version v2.0 is expected to be completed in 2021. In this version, we will optimize the characterization of key emission sources, such as iron and steel, and cement. The cloud computing and big data platforms will be upgraded to better support the reanalysis and multi-scale emission data sharing. The emission inventory will be updated to 2020, and the emission trends since 1990 will also be revised.

Supporting organizations >

The development and maintenance of the MEIC model are sponsored by:

  • China’s National High Technology Research and Development Program (863 Program)
  • China’s National Basic Research Program (973 Program)
  • China’s National Key R&D Programmes
  • National Natural Science Foundation of China
  • The public welfare program of China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection
  • National Research Program for Key Issues in Air Pollution Control
  • Tsinghua University Initiative Research Program
  • Energy Foundation China
  • State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Sources and Control of Air Pollution Complex
  • Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling