Anthropogenic and volcanic point source SO₂ emissions derived from TROPOMI on board Sentinel-5 Precursor: first results
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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The paper introduces the first TROPOMI-based sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions estimates for point sources. A total of about 500 continuously emitting point sources releasing about 10 kt yr−1 to more than 2000 kt yr−1 of SO2, previously identified from Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) observations, were analyzed using TROPOMI (TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) measurements for 1 full year from April 2018 to March 2019. The annual emissions from these sources were estimated and compared to similar estimates from OMI and Ozone Mapping Profiling Suite (OMPS) measurements. Note that emissions from many of these 500 sources have declined significantly since 2005, making their quantification more challenging. We were able to identify 274 sources where annual emissions are significant and can be reliably estimated from TROPOMI. The standard deviations of TROPOMI vertical column density data, about 1 Dobson unit (DU, where 1 DU =2.69×1016 molecules cm−2) over the tropics and 1.5 DU over high latitudes, are larger than those of OMI (0.6–1 DU) and OMPS (0.3–0.4 DU). Due to its very high spatial resolution, TROPOMI produces 12–20 times more observations over a certain area than OMI and 96 times more than OMPS. Despite higher uncertainties of individual TROPOMI observations, TROPOMI data averaged over a large area have roughly 2–3 times lower uncertainties compared to OMI and OMPS data. Similarly, TROPOMI annual emissions can be estimated with uncertainties that are 1.5–2 times lower than the uncertainties of annual emissions estimates from OMI. While there are area biases in TROPOMI data over some regions that have to be removed from emission calculations, the absolute magnitude of these are modest, typically within ±0.25 DU, which can be comparable with SO2 values over large sources.
CitationFioletov, V.; McLinden, C.A.; Griffin, D.; Theys, N.; Loyola, D.G.; Hedelt, P.; Krotkov, N.A.; Li, C. (2020). Anthropogenic and volcanic point source SO₂ emissions derived from TROPOMI on board Sentinel-5 Precursor: first results. , Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 20, Issue 9, 5591-5607, DOI: 10.5194/acp-20-5591-2020.