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Sectoral emission contribution to anthropogenic aerosol scenario over the Indian subcontinent and effect of mitigation on air quality, climate and health

P. Ajay, Binita Pathak*, Pradip Kumar Bhuyan, Fabien Solmon, Filippo Giorgi

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Over the last few decades, there have been substantial changes in sectoral anthropogenic emissions over India, thus modifying the region’s air quality and radiation budget. However, these sectoral contributions are still poorly understood. This study attempts to estimate the anthropogenic aerosols and SO2 emissions from different sectors over the Indian sub-continent and their implications to regional climate and health using the RegCM 4.4 regional climate model and GAINS global model. We consider current emissions as well as emissions with a mitigation scenario for the year 2030. The RegCM simulations with the ECLIPSE V5a as emission inventory for 2000 and 2015 show high SO2 emissions from the energy sector, substantially contributing to the anthropogenic AOD (AODanthro) and climate forcing. The residential and transport sectors imprint on climate forcing is increased in 2015 from 2000. Higher AODanthro (0.35-0.45) occurrence days substantially decrease under a mitigation scenario by 5-10% over the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP). In particular, at five megacities (Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore) of India, the BC, OC, and PM2.5 concentrations are substantially reduced under the mitigation scenario; however SO2 increases. The reduction of pollutants contributes to significantly reduce the life expectancy loss (LEL) at all cities. This study advocates the need for future emission control policies with a synergy between air quality and climate change.