Uncertainties in emissions estimates of greenhouse gases and air pollutants in India and their impacts on regional air quality

Eri Saikawa, Marcus Trail, Min Zhong, Qianru Wu, Cindy L. Young, Greet Janssens-Maenhout, Zbigniew Klimont, Fabian Wagner, Jun Ichi Kurokawa, Ajay Singh Nagpure, Bhola Ram Gurjar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Greenhouse gas and air pollutant precursor emissions have been increasing rapidly in India. Large uncertainties exist in emissions inventories and quantification of their uncertainties is essential for better understanding of the linkages among emissions and air quality, climate, and health. We use Monte Carlo methods to assess the uncertainties of the existing carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM) emission estimates from four source sectors for India. We also assess differences in the existing emissions estimates within the nine subnational regions. We find large uncertainties, higher than the current estimates for all species other than CO, when all the existing emissions estimates are combined. We further assess the impact of these differences in emissions on air quality using a chemical transport model. More efforts are needed to constrain emissions, especially in the Indo-Gangetic Plain, where not only the emissions differences are high but also the simulated concentrations using different inventories. Our study highlights the importance of constraining SO2, NOx, and NH3 emissions for secondary PM concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number065002
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 26 2017

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© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • Emissions
  • India
  • air pollution
  • carbon dioxide
  • inventories


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