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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 02 Jan 2020

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Anthropogenic and volcanic point source SO2 emissions derived from TROPOMI onboard Sentinel 5 Precursor: first results

Vitali Fioletov1, Chris A. McLinden1, Debora Griffin1, Nicolas Theys2, Diego G. Loyola3, Pascal Hedelt3, Nickolay A. Krotkov4, and Can Li4,5 Vitali Fioletov et al.
  • 1Air Quality Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Canada
  • 2Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Brussels, Belgium
  • 3Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Wessling, Germany
  • 4Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight 10 Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 5Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland College Park, MD, USA

Abstract. 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 from about 10 kT y−1 to more than 2000 kT y−1 of SO2 per year, previously identified from Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) observations, were analysed using TROPOMI measurements for one 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 declined significantly since 2005 making their quantification more challenging. We were able to identify 278 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/cm2) over 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 two-three 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 for emission calculations, the absolute magnitude of these are modest, typically within ±0.25 DU, it can be comparable to SO2 values over large sources.

Vitali Fioletov et al.
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Vitali Fioletov et al.
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