India: Power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide – an atmospheric pollutant with both health and climate impacts have increased across India in recent years, according to a new analysis of data from a NASA satellite. The analysis of data captured by an instrument on NASA's Aura satellite found that emissions of sulfur dioxide from Indian power plants have increased by more than 60 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to new research led by Zifeng Lu of Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill. The study was published online Dec. 5 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
"It's an issue of monitoring locations. We should know air quality not only in populated cities, but also in industrial areas, where coal-fired power plants truly dominate national sulfur dioxide emissions. On the one hand, local residents are still influenced by these emissions; on the other hand, long-lifetime, sulfur-containing air pollutants such as sulfate can be transported long distances to affect public health and the environment at a regional scale,” said Lu.