Daily ambient air pollution metrics for five cities: Evaluation of...

Friberg, M. D., R. Kahn, H. A. Holmes, H. H. Chang, S. E. Sarnat, P. E. Tolbert, A. G. Russell, and J. A. Mulholland (2017), Daily ambient air pollution metrics for five cities: Evaluation of datafusion-based estimates and uncertainties, Atmos. Environ., 158, 36-50, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.03.022.

Spatiotemporal characterization of ambient air pollutant concentrations is increasingly relying on the combination of observations and air quality models to provide well-constrained, spatially and temporally complete pollutant concentration fields. Air quality models, in particular, are attractive, as they characterize the emissions, meteorological, and physiochemical process linkages explicitly while providing continuous spatial structure. However, such modeling is computationally intensive and has biases. The limitations of spatially sparse and temporally incomplete observations can be overcome by blending the data with estimates from a physically and chemically coherent model, driven by emissions and meteorological inputs. We recently developed a data fusion method that blends ambient ground observations and chemicaltransport-modeled (CTM) data to estimate daily, spatially resolved pollutant concentrations and associated correlations. In this study, we assess the ability of the data fusion method to produce daily metrics (i.e., 1-hr max, 8-hr max, and 24-hr average) of ambient air pollution that capture spatiotemporal air pollution trends for 12 pollutants (CO, NO2, NOx, O3, SO2, PM10, PM2.5, and five PM2.5 components) across five metropolitan areas (Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis), from 2002 to 2008.

Three sets of comparisons are performed: (1) the CTM concentrations are evaluated for each pollutant and metropolitan domain, (2) the data fusion concentrations are compared with the monitor data, (3) a comprehensive cross-validation analysis against observed data evaluates the quality of the data fusion model simulations across multiple metropolitan domains. The resulting daily spatial field estimates of air pollutant concentrations and uncertainties are not only consistent with observations, emissions, and meteorology, but substantially improve CTM-derived results for nearly all pollutants and all cities, with the exception of NO2 for Birmingham. The greatest improvements occur for O3 and PM2.5. Squared

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Research Program: 
Applied Sciences Program (ASP)
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)