Rapid economic and industrial development in China and relatively weak emission controls have resulted in significant increases in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in recent years, with the exception of late 2008 to mid 2009 when the economic downturn led to emission reductions detectable from space. Here vertical column densities (VCDs) of tropospheric NO2 retrieved from satellite observations by SCIAMACHY, GOME-2 and OMI (both by KNMI and by NASA) are used to evaluate changes in emissions of NOx from October 2004 to February 2010 identifying impacts of the economic downturn. Data over polluted regions of Northern East China suggest an increase of 27–33% in 12-month mean VCD of NO2 prior to the downturn, consistent with an increase of 49% in thermal power generation (TPG) reflecting the economic growth. More detailed analysis is used to quantify changes in emissions of NOx in January over the period 2005–2010 when the effect of the downturn was most evident. The GEOS-Chem model is employed to evaluate the effect of changes in chemistry and meteorology on VCD of NO2. This analysis indicates that emissions decreased by 20% from January 2008 to January 2009, close to the reduction of 18% in TPG that occurred over the same interval. A combination of three independent approaches indicates that the economic downturn was responsible for a reduction in emissions by 9–11% in January 2009 with an additional decrease of 10%attributed to the slow-down in industrial activity associated with the coincident celebration of the Chinese New Year; errors in the estimate are most likely less than 3.4 %.
A new methodology is developed to constrain Chinese anthropogenic emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from four major sectors (industry, power plants, mobile and residential) in July 2008. It combines tropospheric NO2 column retrievals from GOME-2 and OMI, taking advantage of their different passing time over China (10:00 a.m. LT (local time) versus 02:00 p.m.) and consistent retrieval algorithms. The approach is based on the difference of NOx columns at the overpass times of the two instruments; it thus is less susceptible to the likely systematic errors embedded in individual retrievals that are consistent with each other. Also, it explicitly accounts for diurnal variations and uncertainties of NOx emissions for individual sources. Our best top-down estimate suggests a national budget of 6.8 TgN/yr (5.5 TgN/yr for East China), close to the a priori bottom-up emission estimate from the INTEX-B mission for the year of 2006. The top-down emissions are lower than the a priori near Beijing, in the northeastern provinces and along the east coast; yet they exceed the a priori over many inland regions. Systematic errors in satellite retrievals are estimated to lead to underestimation of top-down emissions by at most 17% (most likely 10%). Effects of other factors on the top-down estimate are typically less than 15% each, including lightning, soil emissions, mixing in planetary boundary layer, anthropogenic emissions of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds, magnitude of a priori emissions, assumptions on emission diurnal variations, and uncertainties in the four sectors. The a posteriori emission budget is 5.7 TgN/yr for East China.
Mixing in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) affects vertical distributions of air tracers in the lower troposphere. An accurate representation of PBL mixing is critical for chemical-transport models (CTMs) for applications sensitive to simulations of the vertical profiles of tracers. The full mixing assumption in the widely used global CTM GEOS-Chem has recently been supplemented with a non-local PBL scheme. This study analyzes the impact of the non-local scheme on model representation of PBL mixing, consequences for simulations of vertical profiles of air tracers and surface air pollution, and implications for model applications to the interpretation of data retrieved from satellite remote sensing. The non-local scheme significantly improves simulations of the vertical distributions for NO2 and O3, as evaluated using aircraft measurements in summer 2004. It also reduces model biases over the U.S. by more than 10 ppb for surface ozone concentrations at night and by 2–5 ppb for peak ozone in the afternoon, as evaluated using ground observations. The application to inverse modeling of anthropogenic NOx emissions for East China using satellite retrievals of NO2 from OMI and GOME-2 suggests that the full mixing assumption results in 3–14% differences in top–down emission budgets as compared to the non-local scheme. The top–down estimate combining the non-local scheme and the Lin et al. inverse modeling approach suggests a magnitude of 6.6 TgN yr−1 for emissions of NOx over East China in July 2008 and 8.0 TgN yr−1 for January 2009, with the magnitude and seasonality in good agreement with bottom–up estimates.
The Chinese government has moved aggressively since 2005 to reduce emissions of a number of pollutants including primary particulate matter (PM) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), efforts inadvertently aided since late 2008 by economic recession. Satellite observations of aerosol optical depth (AOD) and column nitrogen dioxide (NO2) provide independent indicators of emission trends, clearly reflecting the sharp onset of the recession in the fall of 2008 and rebound of the economy in the latter half of 2009. Comparison of AOD with ground-based observations of PM over a longer period indicate that emission-control policies have not been successful in reducing concentrations of aerosol pollutants at smaller size range over industrialized regions of China. The lack of success is attributed to the increasing importance of anthropogenic secondary aerosols formed from precursor species including nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), and ammonia (NH3).
The concept of Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) has been extensively used in policy consideration as a relative index for comparing the climate impact of an emitted greenhouse gas (GHG), relative to carbon dioxide with equal mass emissions. Ozone depletion due to emission of chlorinated or brominated halocarbons leads to cooling of the climate system in the opposite direction to the direct warming contribution by halocarbons as GHGs. This cooling is a key indirect effect of the halocarbons on climatic radiative forcing, which is accounted for by indirect GWPs. With respect to climate, it is critical to understand net influences considering direct warming and indirect cooling effects especially for Halons due to the greater ozone-depleting efficiency of bromine over chlorine. Until now, the indirect GWPs have been calculated using a parameterized approach based on the concept of Equivalent Effective Stratospheric Chlorine (EESC) and the observed ozone depletion over the last few decades. As a step towards obtaining indirect GWPs through a more robust approach, we use atmospheric models to explicitly calculate the indirect GWPs of Halon-1211 and Halon-1301 for a 100-year time horizon. State-of-theart global chemistry-transport models (CTMs) were used as the computational tools to derive more realistic ozone depletion changes caused by an added pulse emission of the two major Halons at the surface. The radiative forcings on climate from the ozone changes have been calculated for indirect GWPs using an atmospheric radiative transfer model (RTM). The simulated temporal variations of global average total column Halons after a pulse perturbation follow an exponential decay with an e-folding time which is consistent with the expected chemical lifetimes of the Halons. Our cal- Correspondence to: D. J. Wuebbles (firstname.lastname@example.org) culated indirect GWPs for the two Halons are much smaller than those from past studies but are within a single standard deviation of WMO (2007) values and the direct GWP values derived agree with the published values. Our model-based assessment of the Halon indirect GWPs thus confirms the significant importance of indirect effects on climate.
Simulation of summertime U.S. surface ozone diurnal cycle is influenced by the model representation of planetary boundary layer (PBL) mixing, spatial resolution, and precursor emissions. These factors are investigated here for five major regions (Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California, and Southwest) by using the Model for Ozone And Related chemical Tracers version 2.4 (MOZART-2.4), with important modifications, to conduct sensitivity experiments for summer 1999 with three PBL mixing schemes, two horizontal resolutions and two emissions datasets. Among these factors, the PBL mixing is dominant. The default non-local scheme well reproduces the observed ozone diurnal variation, where the timing for the afternoon maximum and the morning minimum is within 1 h of the observed; biases for the minimum are less than 5 ppb except over the Southeast; and the ozone maximum–minimum contrast (OMMC) is within 10 ppb of observations except for the overprediction by 18.9 ppb over the Northeast. In contrast, the local scheme significantly overestimates the OMMC by 10–34 ppb over all regions as ozone and precursors are trapped too close to the ground. On the other hand, the full-mixing assumption underestimates the OMMC by 0–25 ppb, except over the Northeast, as the nighttime ozone decline is greatly underpredicted. As compared to PBL mixing, the effects of horizontal resolutions and precursor emissions being used are smaller but non-negligible. Overall, with the non-local mixing scheme, relatively high horizontal resolution (∼1.1°) and updated emissions data, the modified MOZART is capable of simulating the main features of the observed ozone diurnal cycle.
This paper identifies improvements in representation of the boundary layer applicable to the Project's atmospheric model of China.
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