Articles | Volume 21, issue 24
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 18195–18212, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-18195-2021
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 18195–18212, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-18195-2021
Research article
15 Dec 2021
Research article | 15 Dec 2021

Why is the city's responsibility for its air pollution often underestimated? A focus on PM2.5

Philippe Thunis et al.

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Cited articles

AAQD2008: Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe, No. 152, Official Journal, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2008.​​​​​​​ 
Amato, F., Cassee, F. R., Denier van der Gon, H. A. C., Gehrig, R., Gustafsson, M., Hafner, W., Harrison, R. M., Jozwicka, M., Kelly, F. J., Moreno, T., Prevot, A. S. H., Schaap, M., Sunyer, J., and Querol, X.: Urban air quality: The challenge of traffic non-exhaust emissions, J. Hazard. Mater., 275, 31–36, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2014.04.053, 2014. 
ApSimon, H., Oxley, T., Woodward, H., Mehlig, D., Dore, A., and Holland, M.: The UK Integrated Assessment Model for source apportionment and air pollution policy applications to PM2.5, Environ. Int., 153, 106515, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106515, 2021. 
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Short summary
Air pollution's origin in cities is still a point of discussion, and approaches to assess the city's responsibility for its pollution are not harmonized and thus not comparable, resulting in sometimes contradicting interpretations. We show that methodological choices can easily lead to differences of a factor of 2 in terms of responsibility outcome and stress that methodological choices and assumptions most often lead to a systematic and important underestimation of the city's responsibility.
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