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Unexpected slowdown of US pollutant emission reduction in the past decade [Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences]

Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NO x ) have a large impact on air quality and climate change as precursors in the formation of ozone and secondary aerosols. We find that NO x emissions have not been decreasing as expected in recent years (2011–2015) when comparing top-down estimates from satellites and surface NO2 measurements to the trends predicted from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s emission inventory data. The discrepancy can be explained by the growing relative contribution of industrial, area, and off-road mobile sources of emissions, decreasing relative contribution of on-road gasoline vehicles, and slower than expected decreases in on-road diesel NO x emissions, with implications for air-quality management.

Authors:   Zhe Jiang; Brian C. McDonald; Helen Worden; John R. Worden; Kazuyuki Miyazaki; Zhen Qu; Daven K. Henze; Dylan B. A. Jones; Avelino F. Arellano; Emily V. Fischer; Liye Zhu; K. Folkert Boersma
Journal:   Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences current issue
Volume:   115
edition:   20
Year:   2018
Pages:   5099
DOI:   10.1073/pnas.1801191115
Publication date:   15-May-2018
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • ozone
  • nitrogen oxides
  • gasoline
  • Formation
  • environmental protection
  • diesel
  • climate change
  • aerosols
More about Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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