North Korean CO emissions reconstruction using DMZ ground observations, TROPOMI space-borne data, and the CMAQ air quality model

Kim, E., Kim, B.-U., Kim, H.C., Liu, Y., Kang, Y.H., Jacob, D.J., Kim, Y.P., Woo, J.-H., et al. (2024). North Korean CO emissions reconstruction using DMZ ground observations, TROPOMI space-borne data, and the CMAQ air quality model. Science of the Total Environment 921 e171059. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.171059.

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Emission uncertainty in North Korea can act as an obstacle when developing air pollution management plans in the country and neighboring countries when the transboundary transport of air pollutants is considered. This study introduces a novel approach for adjusting and reallocating North Korean CO emissions, aiming to complement the limited observational and emissions data on the country's air pollutants. We utilized ground observations from demilitarized zone (DMZ) and vertical column density (VCD) data from a TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI), which were combined with the Community Multi-Scale Air Quality (CMAQ) chemistry transport model simulations. The Clean Air Support System (CAPSS) and Satellite Integrated Joint Monitoring of Air Quality (SIJAQ) emissions inventories served as the basis for our initial simulations. A two-step procedure was proposed to adjust both the emission intensity and the spatial distribution of emissions. First, air quality simulations were conducted to explore model sensitivity to changes in North Korean CO emissions with respect to ground concentrations. DMZ observations then constrained these simulations to estimate corresponding emission intensity. Second, the spatial structure of North Korean CO emission sources was reconstructed with the help of TROPOMI CO VCD distributions. Our two-step hybrid method outperformed individual emissions adjustment and spatial reallocation based solely on surface or satellite observations. Validation using ground observations from the Chinese Dandong site near the China-North Korea border revealed significantly improved model simulations when applying the updated CO emissions. The adjusted CO emissions were 10.9 times higher than those derived from the bottom-up emissions used in this study, highlighting the lack of information on North Korean pollutants and emission sources. This approach offers an efficient and practical solution for identifying potential missing emission sources when there is limited on-site information about air quality on emissions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Air quality model; Emissions adjustment; North Korea; Spatial allocation; Vertical column density
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Pollution Management (PM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2024 07:24
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024 12:56

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