Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute; Ministery Of Infrastructure And The Environment

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Trends and trend reversal detection in 2 decades of tropospheric NO2 satellite observations
by A.K. Georgoulias (KNMI), R.J. van der A (KNMI), P. Stammes (KNMI), K.F. Boersma (KNMI), H.J. Eskes (KNMI)

In this work, a ∼21-year global dataset from four different satellite sensors with a mid-morning overpass (GOME/ERS-2, SCIAMACHY/ENVISAT, GOME-2/Metop-A, and GOME-2/Metop-B) is compiled to study the long-term tropospheric NO2 patterns and trends. The Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) and GOME-2 data are “corrected” relative to the SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY) data to produce a self-consistent dataset that covers the period April 1996–September 2017. The highest tropospheric NO2 concentrations are seen over urban, industrialized, and highly populated areas and over ship tracks in the oceans. Tropospheric NO2 has generally decreased during the last 2 decades over the industrialized and highly populated regions of the western world (a total decrease of the order of ∼49 % over the US, the Netherlands, and the UK; ∼36 % over Italy and Japan; and ∼32 % over Germany and France) and increased over developing regions (a total increase of ∼160 % over China and ∼33 % over India). It is suggested here that linear trends cannot be used efficiently worldwide for such long periods. Tropospheric NO2 is very sensitive to socioeconomic changes (e.g., environmental protection policies, economic recession, warfare, etc.) which may cause either short-term changes or even a reversal of the trends. The application of a method capable of detecting the year when a reversal of trends happened shows that tropospheric NO2 concentrations switched from positive to negative trends and vice versa over several regions around the globe. A country-level analysis revealed clusters of countries that exhibit similar positive-to-negative or negative-to-positive trend reversals, while 29 out of a total of 64 examined megacities and large urban agglomerations experienced a trend reversal at some point within the last 2 decades.

Bibliographic data
Georgoulias, A.K., R.J. van der A, P. Stammes, K.F. Boersma and H.J. Eskes, Trends and trend reversal detection in 2 decades of tropospheric NO2 satellite observations
Atm. Chem. Phys., 2019, 19, 6269-6294, doi:
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