Sulfur dioxide emissions (SO2) impact human health, ecosystems, agriculture, and global and regional climate. Anthropogenic emissions have resulted in greatly increased sulfur deposition and atmospheric sulfate loadings near most industrialized areas. Sulfur dioxide forms sulfate aerosols that have a significant effect on global and regional climate. Historical reconstructions of sulfur dioxide emissions are necessary to access the past influence of sulfur dioxide on the earth system and as base-year information for future projections. This data set provides annual estimates of anthropogenic global and regional sulfur dioxide emissions spanning the period 1850–2005 using a bottom-up mass balance method, calibrated to country-level inventory data. Emissions by source category (coal, petroleum, biomass combustion, smelting, fuel processing, and other processes) are available for 142 countries and regions. For the purpose of viewing the data pattern and changes, the maps of total emissions in 1970–2005 are also provided for online view and download in the archive.
The mapping terms “country,” “nation,” or “national” do not imply any judgment on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of disputed boundaries, on the part of CIESIN, the Trustees of Columbia University, or the data providers. The data and maps are at country level in general, however a few small areas are not countries as defined by the United Nations or international originations, such as Guam, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The map collection uses the boundaries circa 2005 and does not track past changes. The emissions of the years other than 2005, e.g. those of Kazakhstan before 1992, represent those from the same areas covered by the country boundaries of 2005. The views expressed in the paper and data are those of the authors and not necessarily those of CIESIN, the Earth Institute, Columbia University, or NASA.