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Reconstructed Sulfur Dioxide Levels (1980-2015)

Estimated Changes in Sulfur Dioxide from 1980 to 2015
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Fioletov et al. (2017) used Aura Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite measurements of vertical column densities (VCD: the total number of molecules per unit area) of sulfur dioxide, a criteria air pollutant, to establish a link between reported sulfur dioxide emissions, OMI sulfur dioxide VCDs measured by satellites, and surface sulfur dioxide concentration measurements. They then estimated annual mean sulfur dioxide VCD distributions (as shown in animation), based on reported point-source emissions for the period 1980–2015, as would have been seen by OMI. OMI was launched in July 2004 on the Aura satellite.

Fioletov, V., McLinden, C. A., Kharol, S. K., Krotkov, N. A., Li, C., Joiner, J., Moran, M. D., Vet, R., Visschedijk, A. J. H., and Denier van der Gon, H. A. C.: Multi-source SO2 emission retrievals and consistency of satellite and surface measurements with reported emissions, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 12597-12616,, 2017.