Global sulfur emissions from 1850 to 2000

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    The ASL database provides continuous time-series of sulfur emissions for most countries in the World from 1850 to 1990, but academic and official estimates for the 1990s either do not cover all years or countries. This paper develops continuous time series of sulfur emissions by country for the period 1850-2000 with a particular focus on developments in the 1990s. Global estimates for 1996-2000 are the first that are based on actual observed data. Raw estimates are obtained in two ways. For countries and years with existing published data I compile and integrate that data. Previously published data covers the majority of emissions and almost all countries have published emissions for at least 1995. For the remaining countries and for missing years for countries with some published data, I interpolate or extrapolate estimates using either an econometric emissions frontier model, an environmental Kuznets curve model, or a simple extrapolation, depending on the availability of data. Finally, I discuss the main movements in global and regional emissions in the 1990s and earlier decades and compare the results to other studies. Global emissions peaked in 1989 and declined rapidly thereafter. The locus of emissions shifted towards East and South Asia, but even this region peaked in 1996. My estimates for the 1990s show a much more rapid decline than other global studies, reflecting the view that technological progress in reducing sulfur based pollution has been rapid and is beginning to diffuse worldwide.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-175
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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