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Reductions in NO 2 Driven by Policy and Recession. Patricia Castellanos 1 & K. Folkert Boersma 1,2 AGU . 2 Eindhoven University of Technology, Fluid Dynamics Lab. 1 Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI). Why do we care about NO 2 o ver Europe?.

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reductions in no 2 driven by policy and recession

Reductions in NO2 Driven by Policy and Recession

Patricia Castellanos1 &K. Folkert Boersma1,2


2Eindhoven University of Technology, Fluid Dynamics Lab

1Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)

why do we care about no 2 o ver europe
Why do we care about NO2over Europe?

2008 NO2 Annual Mean [μg/m3]

  • Ozone precursor
  • Aerosol formation
  • Eutrophication of soil and water
  • Acid deposition
  • Toxic at high concentrations
  • Limits were supposed to be reached by 2010
  • Timeline will be extended by 5 years without penalty

Bad air quality costs the UK 8.5-20 billion pounds per year, and can cut life expectancy by years – UK Environmental Audit Committee

  • Poorly quantified high biases
  • Lack spatial representativity
  • Reporting issues
  • Need an independent assessment of changing NO2 concentrations

Satellite Observations

no 2 trends from space
NO2 Trends From Space
  • Satellites provide
    • Global coverage
    • Independent & self-consistent time series
  • Monitor effectiveness of pollution abatement strategies

Space-based European NO2 column trends in the literature

A Few % Per Year

no 2 column trends
NO2 Column Trends
  • Different summer and winter NO2 lifetimes
      • Large seasonal fluctuations
        • Normally only look at one season
      • Transport effects in winter but not in summer
        • Cannot always assume some regular seasonal variability

Separate the slow-moving trend from other variability


frequency separation kz filter
Frequency Separation – KZ Filter

K-iterations of a moving average

Trends based on low-pass filtered data

Transfer Function

# of Iterations

no 2 column trends august
NO2 Column Trends: August







fitting the no 2 trend
Fitting the NO2 Trend
  • Differentiate between policy (pre-recession) and recession related NO2 changes

European Average


continuous + recession


2004-2010 Continuous Change

Recession Change

[Ccontinuousx 6 years]


European Average


Recession period reductions were the same or greater thanpre-recession reductions

One year of economic recession outweighed ~4-years of policy improvements


Uncontrolled shipping emissions may be reducing air quality in the countries bordering the English channel

2004-2007 Reported NOxEmissions trend ÷ Ccontinuous trend

Report increased emissions but NO2 has decreased

UK reports reduced emissions but NO2 has increased

final remarks
Final Remarks
  • High resolution daily OMI observations allow us to analyze spatially AND temporally heterogeneous trends
  • NO2 concentrations over Europe are 10-50% lower than in 2004
  • Fast declines in NOx emissions during the economic recession led to 15-30% NO2 reductions in 2008-09

European NO2 column trends in the literature