Assessment of Updated Fuel-Based Emissions Inventories Over the Contiguous United States Using TROPOMI NO2 Retrievals

M. Li*, B. C. McDonald, S. A. McKeen, H. Eskes, P. Levelt, C. Francoeur, C. Harkins, J. He, M. Barth, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are air pollutants critical to ozone and fine particle production in the troposphere. Here, we present fuel-based emission inventories updated to 2018, including for mobile source engines using the Fuel-based Inventory of Vehicle Emissions (FIVEs) and oil and gas production using the Fuel-based Oil and Gas (FOG) inventory. The updated FIVE emissions are now consistent with the NEI17 estimates differing within 2% across the contiguous US (CONUS). Tropospheric NO2 columns modeled by the Weather Research and Forecasting with Chemistry model (WRF-Chem) are compared with those observed by TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) and Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) during the summer of 2018. Modeled NO2 columns show strong temporal and spatial correlations with TROPOMI (OMI), identified with biases of −3% (−21%) over CONUS, and +8% (−6%) over point sources plus urban regions. Taking account of the negative bias (∼20%) in early version of TROPOMI over polluted regions, WRF-Chem shows good performance with updated FIVE and FOG emissions. Our model tends to under-predict the tropospheric NO2 columns over background and rural regions (bias of −21% to −3%). Through model sensitivity analyses, we demonstrate the important roles of emissions from soils (11.7% average over CONUS), oil and gas production (4.1%), wildfires (10.6%), and lightning (2.3%) with greater contributions at regional scales. This work provides a roadmap for satellite-based evaluations for emission updates from various sources.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JD035484
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • contiguous US
  • fuel-based emissions
  • model assessment
  • NO
  • WRF-Chem


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