1Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 5825 University Research Court, Suite 3500, College Park, MD 20740, USA
2European Commission Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Via E. Fermi 2749, TP 290, 21027 Ispra (VA), Italy
3International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, 2361, Laxenburg, Austria
4Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6335, USA
*current address: European Environment Agency, Kongens Nytorv 6, 1050 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Abstract. Sulfur aerosols impact human health, ecosystems, agriculture, and global and regional climate. A new annual estimate of anthropogenic global and regional sulfur dioxide emissions has been constructed spanning the period 1850–2005 using a bottom-up mass balance method, calibrated to country-level inventory data. Global emissions peaked in the early 1970s and decreased until 2000, with an increase in recent years due to increased emissions in China, international shipping, and developing countries in general. An uncertainty analysis was conducted including both random and systemic uncertainties. The overall global uncertainty in sulfur dioxide emissions is relatively small, but regional uncertainties ranged up to 30%. The largest contributors to uncertainty at present are emissions from China and international shipping. Emissions were distributed on a 0.5° grid by sector for use in coordinated climate model experiments.