Sediment Soot Radiocarbon Indicates that Recent Pollution Controls Slowed Fossil Fuel Emissions in Southeastern China

Yongming Han*, Zhisheng An, Richard Arimoto, Colin N. Waters, Tobias Schneider, Peng Yao, Eirini Sarli, Weijian Zhou, Li Li, Ulrike Dusek

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

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Fossil fuel (FF) combustion emissions account for a large, but uncertain, amount of the soot in the atmosphere, play an important role in climate change, and adversely affect human health. However, historical estimates of FF contributions to air pollution are limited by uncertainties in fuel usage and emission factors. Here, we constrained FF soot emissions from southeastern China over the past 110 years, based on a novel radiocarbon method applied to sedimentary soot. The reconstructed soot accumulations reflect the integrated effects of increased FF use caused by economic development and reductions in emissions due to pollution controls. A sharp increase in FF soot started in 1950 as southeastern China industrialized and developed economically, but decreased FF soot fluxes in recent years suggest that pollution controls reduced soot emissions. We compare FF soot history to changes in CO2 emissions, industrial and economic activities, and pollution controls and show that FF soot fluxes are more readily controlled than atmospheric CO2. Our independent FF soot record provides insights into the effects of economic development and controls on air pollution and the environmental impacts from the changes in soot emissions.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1534-1543
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume56
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
DOI's
StatusPublished - 1-feb-2022

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