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Title: A space-based, high-resolution view of notable changes in urban NO x pollution around the world (2005-2014)

Nitrogen oxides (NO x = NO + NO 2) are produced during combustion processes and, thus may serve as a proxy for fossil fuel-based energy usage and coemitted greenhouse gases and other pollutants. We use high-resolution nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to analyze changes in urban NO 2 levels around the world from 2005 to 2014, finding complex heterogeneity in the changes. We discuss several potential factors that seem to determine these NO x changes. First, environmental regulations resulted in large decreases. The only large increases in the United States may be associated with three areas of intensive energy activity. Second, elevated NO 2 levels were observed over many Asian, tropical, and subtropical cities that experienced rapid economic growth. Two of the largest increases occurred over recently expanded petrochemical complexes in Jamnagar (India) and Daesan (Korea). Third, pollution transport from China possibly influenced the Republic of Korea and Japan, diminishing the impact of local pollution controls. However, in China, there were large decreases over Beijing, Shanghai, and the Pearl River Delta, which were likely associated with local emission control efforts. Fourth, civil unrest and its effect on energy usage may have resulted in lowermore » NO 2 levels in Libya, Iraq, and Syria. Fifth, spatial heterogeneity within several megacities may reflect mixed efforts to cope with air quality degradation. We also show the potential of high-resolution data for identifying NO x emission sources in regions with a complex mix of sources. Finally, intensive monitoring of the world's tropical/subtropical megacities will remain a priority, as their populations and emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases are expected to increase significantly.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [1]
  1. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA
  2. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA; Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Universities Space Research Association, Columbia Maryland USA
  3. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA; Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Greenbelt Maryland USA
  4. Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne Illinois USA
  5. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA; GESTAR, Morgan State University, Baltimore Maryland USA
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres; Journal Volume: 121; Journal Issue: 2
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA)
Country of Publication:
United States