Characterizing signatures of shipping emissions with satellite measurements of nitrogen dioxide

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202108273579
Title: Characterizing signatures of shipping emissions with satellite measurements of nitrogen dioxide
Author: Suhonen, Elli
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2021
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202108273579
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/333722
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Ilmakehätieteiden maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Atmospheric Sciences
Magisterprogrammet i atmosfärsvetenskaper
Specialisation: Meteorologia
Meteorology
Meteorologi
Abstract: International shipping is globally a major source of atmospheric nitrogen oxides (NOx). It has been widely recognized that these emissions have negative effects on maritime air quality and human health. For a long time, shipping was the least regulated NOx emission source, but now first regulations for ship exhaust NOx emissions started as of January 2021. Shipping emissions must be monitored so the obedience of these regulations can be followed. Different measurement techniques are developed to address the problems related to shipping emission monitoring. The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate how tropospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration measurements by TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) onboard Copernicus Sentinel 5 Precursor (S5P) satellite can be used to characterize signatures of shipping emissions. The capability of TROPOMI to detect busy shipping lanes and port areas was first tested with a large study area of the whole Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Analysis was supported with shipping emission data inventory from the Ship Traffic Assessment Model (STEAM). Results showed elevated NO2 concentrations close to major port areas, especially if the dominant wind direction on the water area was from the continent. These elevated concentrations were most likely a result of both transported urban emissions and shipping emissions. STEAM and TROPOMI grid cell comparison was done over the busiest shipping lane area over the open sea, and the results showed that if the monthly summed shipping emission amount was either small or very large, the signal of shipping emissions was affected by background concentrations. More detailed shipping emission study was done at port Piraeus and the surrounding sea area. There, satellite measurement analysis was done by selecting three smaller study areas for comparison, one over the city of Athens, the second one close to the port Piraeus and the third one over the open sea. Relation between the satellite observations of NO2 and modelled shipping emissions of NOx was obtained in the study area that was over the open sea, the center of the area being 35 km from the coast. The signal of shipping emissions was not detected close to the port, most likely because of the influence of other emission sources. Lastly, spring and summer 2020 were analysed separately in more detail, as they were included in the overall study period of this thesis but the air pollution patterns at that time were affected by the extraordinary COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The results showed unusually small average NO2 concentrations over the city of Athens during spring 2020. Meteorological observations from that time period did not show anything that could fully explain the decrease. Observations over the sea close to Piraeus showed no clear difference between 2019 and 2020 average concentrations, so the pandemic possibly had only a minor impact on the shipping emissions in the port area.
Subject: satellite measurements
nitrogen dioxide
shipping


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