skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: India Is Overtaking China as the World’s Largest Emitter of Anthropogenic Sulfur Dioxide

Abstract

Severe haze is a major public health concern in China and India. Both countries rely heavily on coal for energy, and sulfur dioxide (SO 2) emitted from coal-fired power plants and industry is a major pollutant contributing to their air quality problems. Timely, accurate information on SO 2 sources is a required input to air quality models for pollution prediction and mitigation. However, such information has been difficult to obtain for these two countries, as fast-paced changes in economy and environmental regulations have often led to unforeseen emission changes. Here we use satellite observations to show that China and India are on opposite trajectories for sulfurous pollution. Since 2007, emissions in China have declined by 75% while those in India have increased by 50%. With these changes, India is now surpassing China as the world's largest emitter of anthropogenic SO 2. This finding, not predicted by emission scenarios, suggests effective SO 2 control in China and lack thereof in India. Despite this, haze remains severe in China, indicating the importance of reducing emissions of other pollutants. In India, ~33 million people now live in areas with substantial SO 2 pollution. In conclusion, continued growth in emissions will adversely affect moremore » people and further exacerbate morbidity and mortality.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [3];  [5]; ORCiD logo [6]; ORCiD logo [7];  [8];  [6]
  1. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  2. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto (Canada)
  3. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  4. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States)
  5. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  6. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
  7. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, College Park, MD (United States)
  8. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); Beijing Normal Univ., Beijing (China)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); National Science Foundation (NSF); National Science Foundation of China; USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1466387
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Li, Can, McLinden, Chris, Fioletov, Vitali, Krotkov, Nickolay, Carn, Simon, Joiner, Joanna, Streets, David, He, Hao, Ren, Xinrong, Li, Zhanqing, and Dickerson, Russell R. India Is Overtaking China as the World’s Largest Emitter of Anthropogenic Sulfur Dioxide. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-14639-8.
Li, Can, McLinden, Chris, Fioletov, Vitali, Krotkov, Nickolay, Carn, Simon, Joiner, Joanna, Streets, David, He, Hao, Ren, Xinrong, Li, Zhanqing, & Dickerson, Russell R. India Is Overtaking China as the World’s Largest Emitter of Anthropogenic Sulfur Dioxide. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-14639-8.
Li, Can, McLinden, Chris, Fioletov, Vitali, Krotkov, Nickolay, Carn, Simon, Joiner, Joanna, Streets, David, He, Hao, Ren, Xinrong, Li, Zhanqing, and Dickerson, Russell R. Thu . "India Is Overtaking China as the World’s Largest Emitter of Anthropogenic Sulfur Dioxide". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-14639-8. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1466387.
@article{osti_1466387,
title = {India Is Overtaking China as the World’s Largest Emitter of Anthropogenic Sulfur Dioxide},
author = {Li, Can and McLinden, Chris and Fioletov, Vitali and Krotkov, Nickolay and Carn, Simon and Joiner, Joanna and Streets, David and He, Hao and Ren, Xinrong and Li, Zhanqing and Dickerson, Russell R.},
abstractNote = {Severe haze is a major public health concern in China and India. Both countries rely heavily on coal for energy, and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted from coal-fired power plants and industry is a major pollutant contributing to their air quality problems. Timely, accurate information on SO2 sources is a required input to air quality models for pollution prediction and mitigation. However, such information has been difficult to obtain for these two countries, as fast-paced changes in economy and environmental regulations have often led to unforeseen emission changes. Here we use satellite observations to show that China and India are on opposite trajectories for sulfurous pollution. Since 2007, emissions in China have declined by 75% while those in India have increased by 50%. With these changes, India is now surpassing China as the world's largest emitter of anthropogenic SO2. This finding, not predicted by emission scenarios, suggests effective SO2 control in China and lack thereof in India. Despite this, haze remains severe in China, indicating the importance of reducing emissions of other pollutants. In India, ~33 million people now live in areas with substantial SO2 pollution. In conclusion, continued growth in emissions will adversely affect more people and further exacerbate morbidity and mortality.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-017-14639-8},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
issn = {2045-2322},
number = 1,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 6 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share: