Gridded anthropogenic emissions inventory and atmospheric transport of carbonyl sulfide in the U.S.

Andrew Zumkehr, Timothy W. Hilton, Mary Whelan, Steve Smith, J. Elliott Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Carbonyl sulfide (COS or OCS), the most abundant sulfur-containing gas in the troposphere, has recently emerged as a potentially important atmospheric tracer for the carbon cycle. Atmospheric inverse modeling studies may be able to use existing tower, airborne, and satellite observations of COS to infer information about photosynthesis. However, such analysis relies on gridded anthropogenic COS source estimates that are largely based on industry activity data from over three decades ago. Here we use updated emission factor data and industry activity data to develop a gridded inventory with a 0.1° resolution for the U.S. domain. The inventory includes the primary anthropogenic COS sources including direct emissions from the coal and aluminum industries as well as indirect sources from industrial carbon disulfide emissions. Compared to the previously published inventory, we found that the total anthropogenic source (direct and indirect) is 47% smaller. Using this new gridded inventory to drive the Sulfur Transport and Deposition Model/Weather Research and Forecasting atmospheric transport model, we found that the anthropogenic contribution to COS variation in the troposphere is small relative to the biosphere influence, which is encouraging for carbon cycle applications in this region. Additional anthropogenic sectors with highly uncertain emission factors require further field measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2169-2178
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 27 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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