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Spatial analysis of Anthropogenic SO2 emissions monitored by GOME on board ERS-2

Muhammad fahim Khokhar(2), Steffen Beirle(1), Ulrich Platt(1) and Thomas Wagner(1)

(1) iup, INF 229, 69120, heidelberg, Germany
(2) IUP, INF 229, 69120, heidelberg, Germany


Human activities over the last century particularly the burning of fossil fuels have changed the composition of the atmosphere in ways that threaten to dramatically alter the global climate in the years to come. These activities alter the chemical composition of earth’s atmosphere by releasing toxic matter in addition to green house and chemically active trace gases (SO2, NOx, BrO, ClO etc.). Fossil fuels such as coal and oil contain significant amounts of sulfur. When burned, this sulfur is generally converted to SO2. Anthropogenic SO2 emissions are mostly related to fossil fuel consumptions. In this study our focus is on the SO2 emissions from sources of anthropogenic origin, such as power plants and other industrial activities. We analyzed GOME data for the time period 1996–2002. We present a time series of SO2 SCDs over Eastern USA. From these time series we find a substantial decrease in SO2 SCDs over North Eastern United States. We present spatial analysis of GOME observations for anthropogenic SO2 emissions from different parts of the world. Additionally, a comparison with GOME observations of anthropogenic NO2 column amounts is presented.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry