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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-472
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-472
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 16 Jul 2019

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

Inferring the anthropogenic NOx emission trend over the United States during 2003–2017 from satellite observations: Was there a flattening of the emission tend after the Great Recession?

Jianfeng Li and Yuhang Wang Jianfeng Li and Yuhang Wang
  • School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Abstract. We illustrate the nonlinear relationships among anthropogenic NOx emissions, NO2 tropospheric vertical column densities (TVCDs), and NO2 surface concentrations using model simulations for July 2011 over the contiguous United States (CONUS). The variations of NO2 surface concentrations and TVCDs are generally consistent and reflect well anthropogenic NOx emission variations for high-anthropogenic-NOx emission regions. For low-anthropogenic-NOx emission regions, however, nonlinearity in the emission-TVCD relationship makes it difficult to use satellite observations to infer anthropogenic NOx emission changes. The analysis is extended to 2003–2017. Similar variations of NO2 surface measurements and coincident satellite NO2 TVCDs over urban regions are in sharp contrast to the large variation differences between surface and satellite observations over rural regions. We find a continuous decrease of anthropogenic NOx emissions after 2011 by examining surface and satellite measurements in CONUS urban regions, but the decreasing rate is lower by 9 %–46 % than the pre-2011 period.

Jianfeng Li and Yuhang Wang
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Status: open (until 10 Sep 2019)
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Jianfeng Li and Yuhang Wang
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Short summary
NO2 tropospheric vertical columns (TVCDs) and surface concentrations are widely-used proxies for NOx emission variations. Through model and observation analyses, we find that satellite NO2 TVCDs provide much better information on anthropogenic NOx emission variations over urban than rural regions. NO2 surface observations, satellite column datasets, and EPA anthropogenic NOx emissions show consistent annual variations over urban regions of the United States with a continuous decrease after 2011.
NO2 tropospheric vertical columns (TVCDs) and surface concentrations are widely-used proxies for...
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