Craig: Air pollution and public health: a guidance document for risk managers - Google Scholar

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Doc #: 11 Title: Air pollution and public health: a guidance document for risk managers | Document Link
Organization/Author: Craig
Type: "Workshop Summaries" is not in the list (Report, Workshop, Paper, Website, Presentation, Legislation, Other) of allowed values for the "DocType" property.Workshop Summaries
Year: 2008
Region: North America
Observation Type:
Observation Needs:
Document Status: Submitted, 2009/07/01

Description of Document: This guidance document is a reference for air quality policymakers and managers providing state-of-the-art, evidence-based information on key determinants of air quality management decisions. The document reflects the findings of five annual meetings of the NERAM (Network for Environmental Risk Assessment and Management) International Colloquium Series on Air Quality Management (2001–2006), as well as the results of supporting international research. The topics covered in the guidance document reflect critical science and policy aspects of air quality risk management including i) health effects, ii) air quality emissions, measurement and modeling, iii) air quality management interventions, and iv) clean air policy challenges and opportunities.

Satellite: At present AQ models only assimilate surface observations, but approaches for “chemical data assimilation” are undergoing considerable research and development (Ménard, personal communication). The long-term goal is to begin utilizing observations from satellites and possibly other irregular sources of information (e.g., aircraft). The most advanced satellite instrument is OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) on the Aura spacecraft, which was launched in 2004 (Schoeberl et al., 2004). In terms of the common air pollutants, daily, 13 × 24 km resolution observations for O3, NO2, SO2 and aerosols are being measured. Devising the appropriate procedures for assimilating and/or interpreting such data presents a significant scientific challenge. Even with a satellite such as Aura, observations are available, at best, once per day if no clouds obscure the measurements.

Research is needed to further improve the processing of satellite data from the raw signals and from other supporting data (e.g., correcting for clouds and variations in surface albedo) and then in deriving boundary-layer and/or surface concentrations, as well as vertical profiles. The latter of these requires, in itself, the combined use of AQ and meteorological models and surface observations. Nonetheless, satellite data represents a valuable source of information because it is freely available and provides global coverage: Air pollutant information can be obtained where no monitoring exists. In addition to the initialization of AQ models, the spatial patterns derived from satellite observations (i.e., across days, weeks, or months) are well suited to determining, in an internally consistent manner, gradients in chronic exposure across large regions and among different countries. Thus far, aerosol observations (PM2.5) have received the most attention for this purpose (e.g., Liu et al., 2005).