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Response of SO2 and Particulate Air Pollution to Local and Regional Emission Controls: A Case Study in MarylandThis paper addresses the questions of what effect local regulations can have on pollutants with different lifetimes and how surface observations and remotely sensed data can be used to determine the impacts. We investigated the decadal trends of tropospheric sulfur dioxide (SO2) and aerosol pollution over Maryland and its surrounding states, using surface, aircraft, and satellite measurements. Aircraft measurements indicated fewer isolated SO2 plumes observed in summers, a 40 decrease of column SO2, and a 20 decrease of atmospheric optical depth (AOD) over Maryland after the implementation of local regulations on sulfur emissions from power plants (90 reduction from 2010). Surface observations of SO2 and particulate matter (PM) concentrations in Maryland show similar trends. OMI SO2 and MODIS AOD observations were used to investigate the column contents of air pollutants over the eastern U.S.; these indicate decreasing trends in column SO2 (60 decrease) and AOD (20 decrease). The decrease of upwind SO2 emissions also reduced aerosol loadings over the downwind Atlantic Ocean near the coast by 20, while indiscernible changes of the SO2 column were observed. A step change of SO2 emissions in Maryland starting in 20092010 had an immediate and profound benefit in terms of local surface SO2 concentrations but a modest impact on aerosol pollution, indicating that short-lived pollutants are effectively controlled locally, while long-lived pollutants require regional measures.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
He, Hao (Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Vinnikov, Konstantin Y. (Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Li, Can (Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Krotkov, Nickolay Anatoly (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Jongeward, Andrew R. (Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Li, Zhanqing (Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Stehr, Jeffrey W. (Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Hains, Jennifer (Maryland Dept. of the Environment Baltimore, MD, United States)
Dickerson, RUssell R. (Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
April 11, 2017
Publication Date
April 12, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Earth's Future
Volume: 4
Issue: 4
Subject Category
Geosciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
satellite measurements
sulfer dioxide