Multi-sensor temporal assessment of tropospheric nitrogen dioxide column densities over Pakistan
Spatial and temporal distributions of tropospheric NO2 vertical column densities over Pakistan during the period 2002–2014 are discussed. Data products from three satellite instruments SCIAMACHY, OMI, and GOME-2 are used to prepare a database of tropospheric NO2 column densities over Pakistan and temporal evolution is also determined. Plausible NO2 sources in Pakistan are also discussed. The results show a large NO2 growth over all provinces and the major cities of Pakistan except the megacity of Karachi. Decline in industrial activities due to energy crises, worsening law and order situation, terrorist attacks, and political instability was explored as the main factor for lower NO2 VCDs over Karachi City. The overall increase can be attributed to the anthropogenic emissions over the areas with high population, traffic density, and industrial activities. Source identification revealed that use of fossil fuels by various sectors including power generation, vehicles, and residential sectors along with agriculture fires are among significant sources of NO2 emissions in Pakistan. Existing emission inventories such as EDGARv4.2 and MACCity largely underestimate the true anthropogenic NOx emissions in Pakistan. This study may provide vital information to policy makers and regulatory authorities in developing countries, including Pakistan, in order to devise effective air pollution abatement policies.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-017-1176-7