Mapping Ozone Concentrations Combining Remote Sensing and ICT Ground Verification

Researcher: Jennifer Burney (UC San Diego), Joshua Graff Zivin (UC San Diego)
Location: United States

Project Description


Research in the past decade has underscored the critical importance of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) — black carbon, methane, ozone and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) — on global warming, precipitation and monsoon patterns. Mitigation of SLCPs promises substantial benefits for human health and agricultural productivity. This project creates time-resolved maps of aerosol particulate matter (pollution) exposure concentrations and composition for the continental United States, from 2005 to 2014. This data is for use in agriculture and health impact assessments of short-lived climate pollutants.

The project has successfully developed preliminary daily maps of concentrations of ozone precursors, surface ozone concentrations, NOx regime, total aerosol PM2.5 concentrations and black carbon (absorbing) fraction of PM2.5 over the continental United States from 2005 – 2013. The maps will be published once data from 2014 has been incorporated.

The research team has developed satellite- and ground-based methods for extrapolating exposure estimates between ground-truthed locations. To do this, they used ground-based data from the Environmental Protection Agency Air Quality Monitoring System, and compared it with satellite data. In addition, they used optical data from the IMPROVE and AERONET monitoring networks to further ground-truth satellite observations. This work has led to a forthcoming paper on trends in surface pollution composition and concentrations for the continental U.S. over the past decade.

Finally, the researchers have developed a new index meant to describe the negative health potential of any particular mix of particulates, as viewed from space. This index will be used to examine the impact of particulates on health and productivity in forthcoming research.