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Prediction of Air Pollution in Latin America

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PAPILA (Prediction of Air Pollution in Latin America)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2018-01-01 do 2019-12-31

Each year, three million people die prematurely in the world as a result of air pollution. The overall objective of the PAPILA project (Prediction of Air Pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean) is therefore to establish a sustained network of partners with complementary expertise that develop and implement an analysis and forecast system for air quality with downscaling capability for Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC region), and to assess the impact of air pollution (background and peaks) on health and on the economy. This system will help decision-makers improve air quality and public health, and avoid the occurrence of acute air pollution episodes, particularly in urban areas.

The project combines an ensemble of state-of-the-art models, high-resolution emission inventories, space observations and surface measurements to provide near real time forecasts and analysis of regional air pollution in the LAC region. To reach this objective, the project will bring together an interdisciplinary team of scientists from Europe, Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela) and the Caribbean (Puerto Rico), and foster synergies between the groups involved in research and service activities. The project will co-develop with users and other stakeholders several products and services of importance for the LAC region. An important objective of the project is to make use of complementary competence to develop innovative ideas, to established sustained partnerships between research groups, to transfer information to the public, to develop educational activities and to create a dialogue with interested stakeholders. Societal impacts, specifically on human health, on crop production, on ecosystems, on the mountain snow cover and on the hydrological cycle as well as the economic benefits of mitigation policies will be assessed. Finally, the planned activities will provide the basis for sustained capacity building actions.
The products under development by the Papila Project include: (a) a real-time state-of-the-art multi-model quasi-operational air quality prediction system that will forecast the four dimensional distribution of air pollutants (reactive species and particulate matter) and provide related health indices, (b) a real-time (quasi-operational) chemical data system that collects and processes observations of air pollutants; (c) a state-of-the-art data assimilation system that will provide best estimates of the atmospheric chemical state via integration of Earth observations (specifically space observations) in chemistry transport model predictions; (d) an emission inventory based on direct “bottom-up” estimates of anthropogenic sources and on “top-down” inverse modelling methodology (following the efforts undertaken by Andrade et al., 2016), (e) dissemination platforms that will release daily “chemical weather” forecasts with quantified uncertainties, and (f) exchanges and transfer of results to national and international agencies.

The first results produced by Papila include

(1) A prototype for air quality predictions and related air quality health indices in Latin America and the Caribbean region (LAC region) with spatial resolutions of typically 20 km. These prototype predictions include the regional distributions of primary chemical species (NOx, CO, VOCs, SO2, particle matter (PM) including dust and black carbon), of secondary species (ozone, sulphate, secondary organic aerosols, etc.) and health indices.
(2) A series of measurements made at different observing stations in the Andes, specifically near La Paz in Bolivia, and in Venezuela. These data will help in the evaluation of model simulations.
(3) The analysis of space observations and specifically of the measurement of NO2 made by the TROPOMI satellite at high spatial resolution (typically 5 km)
(4) The development of educational activities and capacity building effort related to air pollution through local meetings and the organization of a summer school (who date has been postponed to April due to political unrest in Chile).
(5) The successful exchange of scientists from Europe and Latin America and the gradual development of a real partnership aimed at long-term cooperation
During this first part of the project, work has focused on the development of emission inventories in Latin America, on the development of regional models able to forecast air pollution, on the gathering of observations collected at different experimental stations in different countries. The first regional models operating at a spatial resolution of 20 km over the entire Latin American region have been developed and are currently being tested. Several models have been used to intercompare regional air quality forecasts. An ensemble of forecasts will be established, with the purpose of constituting an operational multi-model forecast system for Latin America.