Updated SO2 emission estimates over China using OMI/Aura observations
- 1Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
- 2Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Brussels, Belgium
- 3Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, the Netherlands
- 4Technical University Delft, Delft, the Netherlands
Abstract. The main aim of this paper is to update existing sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission inventories over China using modern inversion techniques, state-of-the-art chemistry transport modelling (CTM) and satellite observations of SO2. Within the framework of the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) MarcoPolo (Monitoring and Assessment of Regional air quality in China using space Observations) project, a new SO2 emission inventory over China was calculated using the CHIMERE v2013b CTM simulations, 10 years of Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI)/Aura total SO2 columns and the pre-existing Multi-resolution Emission Inventory for China (MEIC v1.2). It is shown that including satellite observations in the calculations increases the current bottom-up MEIC inventory emissions for the entire domain studied (15–55° N, 102–132° E) from 26.30 to 32.60 Tg annum−1, with positive updates which are stronger in winter ( ∼ 36 % increase). New source areas were identified in the southwest (25–35° N, 100–110° E) as well as in the northeast (40–50° N, 120–130° E) of the domain studied as high SO2 levels were observed by OMI, resulting in increased emissions in the a posteriori inventory that do not appear in the original MEIC v1.2 dataset. Comparisons with the independent Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research, EDGAR v4.3.1, show a satisfying agreement since the EDGAR 2010 bottom-up database provides 33.30 Tg annum−1 of SO2 emissions. When studying the entire OMI/Aura time period (2005 to 2015), it was shown that the SO2 emissions remain nearly constant before the year 2010, with a drift of −0.51 ± 0.38 Tg annum−1, and show a statistically significant decline after the year 2010 of −1.64 ± 0.37 Tg annum−1 for the entire domain. Similar findings were obtained when focusing on the greater Beijing area (30–40° N, 110–120° E) with pre-2010 drifts of −0.17 ± 0.14 and post-2010 drifts of −0.47 ± 0.12 Tg annum−1. The new SO2 emission inventory is publicly available and forms part of the official EU MarcoPolo emission inventory over China, which also includes updated NOx, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter emissions.