Improving regional air quality predictions in the Indo-Gangetic Plain - case study of an intensive pollution episode in November 2017.

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From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 4)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 344 words

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Abstract :

The Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) experienced an intensive air pollution episode during November 2017. Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled to Chemistry (WRF-Chem), a coupled meteorology-chemistry model, was used to simulate this episode. In order to capture PM.sub.2.5 peaks, we modified input chemical boundary conditions and biomass burning emissions. The Community Atmosphere Model with Chemistry (CAM-chem) and Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications Version 2 (MERRA-2) global models provided gaseous and aerosol chemical boundary conditions, respectively. We also incorporated Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) active fire points to fill in missing fire emissions in the Fire INventory from NCAR (FINN) and scaled by a factor of 7 for an 8 d period. Evaluations against various observations indicated the model captured the temporal trend very well although missed the peaks on 7, 8, and 10 November. Modeled aerosol composition in Delhi showed secondary inorganic aerosols (SIAs) and secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) comprised 30 % and 27 % of total PM.sub.2.5 concentration, respectively, during November, with a modeled OC/BC ratio of 2.72. Back trajectories showed agricultural fires in Punjab were the major source for extremely polluted days in Delhi. Furthermore, high concentrations above the boundary layers in vertical profiles suggested either the plume rise in the model released the emissions too high or the model did not mix the smoke down fast enough. Results also showed long-range-transported dust did not affect Delhi's air quality during the episode. Spatial plots showed averaged aerosol optical depth (AOD) of 0.58 (±0.4) over November. The model AODs were biased high over central India and low over the eastern IGP, indicating improving emissions in the eastern IGP can significantly improve the air quality predictions. We also found high ozone concentrations over the domain, which indicates ozone should be considered in future air quality management strategies alongside particulate matter.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A653037238