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Widespread missing super-emitters of nitrogen oxides across China inferred from year-round satellite observations

Pan, Yuqing and Duan, Lei and Li, Mingqi and Song, Pinqing and Xv, Nan and Liu, Jing and Le, Yifei and Li, Mengying and Wang, Cui and Yu, Shaocai and Rosenfeld, Daniel and Seinfeld, John H. and Li, Pengfei (2023) Widespread missing super-emitters of nitrogen oxides across China inferred from year-round satellite observations. Science of the Total Environment, 864 . Art. No. 161157. ISSN 0048-9697. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.161157. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20230214-87190900.6

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Abstract

Nitrogen oxides (NOₓ ≡ NO + NO₂) play a central role in air pollution and are targeted for emission mitigation by environmental protection agencies globally. Unique challenges for mitigation are presented by super-emitters, typically with the potential to dominate localized NOₓ budgets. Nevertheless, identifying super-emitters still challenges emission mitigation, while the spatial resolution of emission monitoring rises continuously. Here we develop an efficient, super-resolution (1 × 1 km²) inverse model based on year-round TROPOMI satellite observations over China. Consequently, we resolve hundreds of super-emitters in virtually every corner of China, even in remote and mountainous areas. They are attributed to individual plants or parks, mostly associated with industrial sectors, like energy, petrochemical, and iron and steel industries. State-of-the-art bottom-up emission estimates (i.e., MEICv1.3 and HTAPv2), as well as classic top-down inverse methods (e.g., a CTM coupled with the Ensemble Kalman Filter), do not adequately identify these super-emitters. Remarkably, more than one hundred super-emitters are unambiguously missed, while the establishments or discontinuations of the super-emitters potentially lead to under- or over-estimates, respectively. Moreover, evidence shows that these super-emitters generally dominate the NOₓ budget in a localized area (e.g., equivalent to a spatial scale of a medium-sized county). Although our dataset is incomplete nationwide due to the undetectable super-emitters on top of high pollution, our results imply that super-emitters contribute significantly to national NOₓ budgets and thus suggest the necessity to address the NOₓ budget by revisiting super-emitters on a large scale. Integrating the results we obtain here with a multi-tiered observation system can lead to identification and mitigation of anomalous NOₓ emissions.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.161157DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Duan, Lei0000-0002-6540-1847
Yu, Shaocai0000-0001-9718-8246
Rosenfeld, Daniel0000-0002-0784-7656
Seinfeld, John H.0000-0003-1344-4068
Additional Information:We thank ESA and the S-5P/TROPOMI level 1 and level 2 teams for the great work on initiating and realizing TROPOMI data. This study is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 22006030, 22076172, 21577126 and 41561144004), S&T Program of Hebei (22343702D), Hebei Youth Top Fund (BJ2020032), Research Foundation of Education Bureau of Hebei (QN2019184), Basic Scientific Research Foundation of Hebei (KY2021024), Initiation Fund of Hebei Agricultural University (412201904 and YJ201833), the Department of Science and Technology of China (No. 2016YFC0202702, 2018YFC0213506 and 2018YFC0213503), and National Research Program for Key Issues in Air Pollution Control in China (No. DQGG0107).
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China22006030
National Natural Science Foundation of China22076172
National Natural Science Foundation of China21577126
National Natural Science Foundation of China41561144004
Science and Technology Program of Hebei Province22343702D
Hebei Youth Top FundBJ2020032
Research Foundation of Education Bureau of Hebei ProvinceQN2019184
Basic Scientific Research Foundation of Hebei ProvinceKY2021024
Hebei Agricultural University412201904
Hebei Agricultural UniversityYJ201833
Department of Science and Technology (China)2016YFC0202702
Department of Science and Technology (China)2018YFC0213506
Department of Science and Technology (China)2018YFC0213503
National Research Program for Key Issues in Air Pollution Control in ChinaDQGG0107
DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.161157
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20230214-87190900.6
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20230214-87190900.6
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:119277
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Research Services Depository
Deposited On:29 Mar 2023 23:55
Last Modified:29 Mar 2023 23:55

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