New approach to monitor transboundary particulate pollution over Northeast Asia
Abstract. A new approach to more accurately monitor and evaluate transboundary particulate matter (PM) pollution is introduced based on aerosol optical products from Korea's Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI). The area studied is Northeast Asia (including eastern parts of China, the Korean peninsula and Japan), where GOCI has been monitoring since June 2010. The hourly multi-spectral aerosol optical data that were retrieved from GOCI sensor onboard geostationary satellite COMS (Communication, Ocean, and Meteorology Satellite) through the Yonsei aerosol retrieval algorithm were first presented and used in this study. The GOCI-retrieved aerosol optical data are integrated with estimated aerosol distributions from US EPA Models-3/CMAQ (Community Multi-scale Air Quality) v4.5.1 model simulations via data assimilation technique, thereby making the aerosol data spatially continuous and available even for cloud contamination cells. The assimilated aerosol optical data are utilized to provide quantitative estimates of transboundary PM pollution from China to the Korean peninsula and Japan. For the period of 1 April to 31 May, 2011 this analysis yields estimates that AOD as a proxy for PM2.5 or PM10 during long-range transport events increased by 117–265% compared to background average AOD (aerosol optical depth) at the four AERONET sites in Korea, and average AOD increases of 121% were found when averaged over the entire Korean peninsula. This paper demonstrates that the use of multi-spectral AOD retrievals from geostationary satellites can improve estimates of transboundary PM pollution. Such data will become more widely available later this decade when new sensors such as the GEMS (Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer) and GOCI-2 are scheduled to be launched.