Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 10:45 AM
Room 18CD (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
SO2 is a toxic criteria air pollutant regulated by many environmental agencies around the world and a precursor to sulfate aerosols, a major component in smog and haze that cause an estimated over one million premature deaths each year. To predict and mitigate air pollution, air quality models require accurate information on the emissions of SO2 and other pollutants. However, conventional bottom-up emission inventories are normally only updated every 3-5 years and this may lead to substantial uncertainties, particularly for developing countries that are experiencing fast-paced changes in economy and/or environmental policies. In this presentation, we show how global SO2 observations, provided by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) aboard the NASA Aura spacecraft since 2004, can help to improve our understanding of SO2 pollution. In particular, recent advances in the OMI SO2 data product and a new emissions estimation technique have enabled the development of an independent, top-down, OMI-based SO2 emission inventory that include ~500 sources worldwide. Analyses of OMI SO2 retrievals and the derived emissions estimates reveal significant regional trends in SO2 pollution that are not yet fully captured by bottom-up inventories. One surprising finding from OMI, also supported by aircraft measurements, is a dramatic reduction in SO2 emissions from China that far exceeds many recent projections. We will discuss the implications of OMI observed changes in SO2 on air quality and regional climate. We will also discuss important forthcoming updates to the OMI SO2 product that will enable improved global monitoring and science analyses.
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