Advances in Air Quality Research – Current and Emerging Challenges
- 1Centre for Atmospheric and Climate Physics Research, and Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Hertfordshire; College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB, UK
- 2Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, GR-54124, Greece
- 3Science and Innovation Department, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 7 bis, Avenue de la Paix, BP2300, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
- 4Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Western Macedonia, 50100 Kozanim Greece
- 5Univ Paris Est Creteil and Université de Paris, CNRS, LISA, F-94010 Créteil, France
- 6ARIANET, via Gilino 9, 20128 Milano, Italy
- 7Institute for Energy Economics and Rational Energy Use, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, D-70180 Germany
- 8Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Roskilde, DK-4000, Denmark
- 9Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palmenin aukio 1, P.O.Box 503, FI-00101 Helsinki
- 10Charles University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Department of Atmospheric Physics, V Holešovičkách 2, 182 00 Prague, Czech Republic
- 11Institute of Coastal Environmental Chemistry, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Max-Planck-Straße 1, D-21502 Geesthacht, Germany
- 12IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, P.O. Box 530 21, SE-400 14 Göteborg, Sweden
- 13Aerosol Akademie, 83404 Ainring, Germany
- 14Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
- 15Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
- 16European Commission, DG Environment, Brussels, Belgium
- 17Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
- 18National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
- 19Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Heidelbergerlaan 8, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
Abstract. This review provides a community’s perspective on air quality research focussing mainly on developments over the past decade. The article provides perspectives on current and future challenges as well as research needs for selected key topics. While this paper is not an exhaustive review of all research areas in the field of air quality, we have selected key topics that we feel are important from air quality research and policy perspectives. After providing a short historical overview, this review focuses on improvements in characterising sources and emissions of air pollution, new air quality observations and instrumentation, advances in air quality prediction and forecasting, understanding interactions of air quality with meteorology and climate, exposure and health assessment, and air quality management and policy. In conducting the review, specific objectives were (i) to address current developments that push the boundaries of air quality research forward, (ii) to highlight the emerging prominent gaps of knowledge in air quality research and (iii) and to make recommendations to guide the direction for future research within the wider community. This review also identifies areas of particular importance for air quality policy. The original concept of this review was borne at the International Conference on Air Quality 2020 (held online due to the COVID 19 restrictions during 18–26 May 2020), but the article incorporates a wider landscape of research literature within the field of air quality science. On air pollution emissions the review highlights, in particular, the need to reduce uncertainties in emissions from diffuse sources, particulate matter chemical components, shipping emissions and the importance of considering both indoor and outdoor sources. There is a growing need to have integrated air pollution and related observations from both ground based and remote sensing instruments, including especially those on satellites. The research should also capitalize on the growing area of lower cost sensors, while ensuring a quality of the measurements which are regulated by guidelines. Connecting various physical scales in air quality modelling is still a continual issue, with cities being affected by air pollution gradients at local scales and by long range transport. At the same time, one should allow for the impacts from climate change on a longer timescale. Earth system modelling offers considerable potential by providing a consistent framework for treating scales and processes, especially where there are significant feedbacks, such as those related to aerosols, chemistry and meteorology. Assessment of exposure to air pollution should consider both the impacts of indoor and outdoor emissions, as well as apply more sophisticated, dynamic modelling approaches. With particulate matter being one of the most important pollutants for health, research is indicating the urgent need to understand, in particular, the role of particle number and chemical components in terms of health impact, which in turn requires improved emission inventories and models for predicting high resolution distributions of these metrics over cities. The review also examines, how air pollution management needs to adapt to the above-mentioned new challenges and briefly considers the implications from the COVID-19 pandemic for air quality. Finally, we provide recommendations for air quality research and support for policy.
Ranjeet S. Sokhi et al.
Status: open (until 04 Nov 2021)
Ranjeet S. Sokhi et al.
Ranjeet S. Sokhi et al.
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