A global catalogue of large SO2 sources and emissions derived from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument
Abstract. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) measurements from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite sensor processed with the new principal component analysis (PCA) algorithm were used to detect large point emission sources or clusters of sources. The total of 491 continuously emitting point sources releasing from about 30 kt yr−1 to more than 4000 kt yr−1 of SO2 per year have been identified and grouped by country and by primary source origin: volcanoes (76 sources); power plants (297); smelters (53); and sources related to the oil and gas industry (65). The sources were identified using different methods, including through OMI measurements themselves applied to a new emission detection algorithm, and their evolution during the 2005–2014 period was traced by estimating annual emissions from each source. For volcanic sources, the study focused on continuous degassing, and emissions from explosive eruptions were excluded. Emissions from degassing volcanic sources were measured, many for the first time, and collectively they account for about 30 % of total SO2 emissions estimated from OMI measurements, but that fraction has increased in recent years given that cumulative global emissions from power plants and smelters are declining while emissions from oil and gas industry remained nearly constant. Anthropogenic emissions from the USA declined by 80 % over the 2005–2014 period as did emissions from western and central Europe, whereas emissions from India nearly doubled, and emissions from other large SO2-emitting regions (South Africa, Russia, Mexico, and the Middle East) remained fairly constant. In total, OMI-based estimates account for about a half of total reported anthropogenic SO2 emissions; the remaining half is likely related to sources emitting less than 30 kt yr−1 and not detected by OMI.