Population exposure: From hemispheric pollution to air quality in street canyons

By combining monitoring data with results from atmospheric chemistry and dispersion models at different scales, the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program has developed a new methodology that apportions PM10 and NO2 monitored at street canyon stations to emission sources at the different scales of origin.

Street canyon, NYC © erret | iStock

Street canyon, NYC

There is growing recognition of the wide spatial range of the sources contributing to air pollution at a given site, from hemispheric background over the regional scale (transboundary) transport of pollution to local emission sources within cities and within street canyons.

Different institutions are now developing pollution control strategies for the different scales. However, the interplay between the different scales, and especially the cost-effectiveness of policy interventions at the different scales, has not been adequately addressed. Thus, it is not straightforward to determine which measures are best taken by city administrations, national governments, regional institutions, or agreed at the hemispheric or global scales.

By combining monitoring data with results from atmospheric chemistry and dispersion models at different scales, MAG has developed a new methodology that apportions PM10 and NO2 monitored at street canyon stations to emission sources at the different scales of origin. Incorporated into GAINS, this new methodology enables an improved assessment of the effectiveness of policy interventions at different scales on population exposure [1]. 

References

[1] Kiesewetter G, Borken-Kleefeld J, Schöpp W, Heyes C, Thunis P, Bessagnet B, Gsella A, Amann M (2013). Modelling NO2 concentrations at the street level in the GAINS integrated assessment model: projections under current legislation. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions 13, 22687–22732.



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Last edited: 30 June 2015

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Gregor Kiesewetter

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Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases

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