Health impact analyses are increasingly tapping the broad spatial coverage of satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) products to estimate human exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We use a forward geophysical approach to derive ground-level PM2.5 distributions from satellite AOD at 1 km2 resolution for 2011 over the northeastern US by applying relationships between surface PM2.5 and column AOD (calculated offline from speciated mass distributions) from a regional air quality model (CMAQ; 12×12 km2 horizontal resolution). Seasonal average satellite-derived PM2.5 reveals more spatial detail and best captures observed surface PM2.5 levels during summer. At the daily scale, however, satellite-derived PM2.5 is not only subject to measurement uncertainties from satellite instruments, but more importantly to uncertainties in the relationship between surface PM2.5 and column AOD. Using 11 ground-based AOD measurements within 10 km of surface PM2.5 monitors, we show that uncertainties in modeled PM2.5∕AOD can explain more than 70 % of the spatial and temporal variance in the total uncertainty in daily satellite-derived PM2.5 evaluated at PM2.5 monitors. This finding implies that a successful geophysical approach to deriving daily PM2.5 from satellite AOD requires model skill at capturing day-to-day variations in PM2.5∕AOD relationships. Overall, we estimate that uncertainties in the modeled PM2.5∕AOD lead to an error of 11 µg m−3 in daily satellite-derived PM2.5, and uncertainties in satellite AOD lead to an error of 8 µg m−3. Using multi-platform ground, airborne, and radiosonde measurements, we show that uncertainties of modeled PM2.5∕AOD are mainly driven by model uncertainties in aerosol column mass and speciation, while model representation of relative humidity and aerosol vertical profile shape contributes some systematic biases. The parameterization of aerosol optical properties, which determines the mass extinction efficiency, also contributes to random uncertainty, with the size distribution being the largest source of uncertainty and hygroscopicity of inorganic salt the second largest. Future efforts to reduce uncertainty in geophysical approaches to derive surface PM2.5 from satellite AOD would thus benefit from improving model representation of aerosol vertical distribution and aerosol optical properties, to narrow uncertainty in satellite-derived PM2.5.

Assessing uncertainties of a geophysical approach to estimate surface fine particulate matter distributions from satellite-observed aerosol optical depth

Curci, Gabriele;
2019

Abstract

Health impact analyses are increasingly tapping the broad spatial coverage of satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) products to estimate human exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We use a forward geophysical approach to derive ground-level PM2.5 distributions from satellite AOD at 1 km2 resolution for 2011 over the northeastern US by applying relationships between surface PM2.5 and column AOD (calculated offline from speciated mass distributions) from a regional air quality model (CMAQ; 12×12 km2 horizontal resolution). Seasonal average satellite-derived PM2.5 reveals more spatial detail and best captures observed surface PM2.5 levels during summer. At the daily scale, however, satellite-derived PM2.5 is not only subject to measurement uncertainties from satellite instruments, but more importantly to uncertainties in the relationship between surface PM2.5 and column AOD. Using 11 ground-based AOD measurements within 10 km of surface PM2.5 monitors, we show that uncertainties in modeled PM2.5∕AOD can explain more than 70 % of the spatial and temporal variance in the total uncertainty in daily satellite-derived PM2.5 evaluated at PM2.5 monitors. This finding implies that a successful geophysical approach to deriving daily PM2.5 from satellite AOD requires model skill at capturing day-to-day variations in PM2.5∕AOD relationships. Overall, we estimate that uncertainties in the modeled PM2.5∕AOD lead to an error of 11 µg m−3 in daily satellite-derived PM2.5, and uncertainties in satellite AOD lead to an error of 8 µg m−3. Using multi-platform ground, airborne, and radiosonde measurements, we show that uncertainties of modeled PM2.5∕AOD are mainly driven by model uncertainties in aerosol column mass and speciation, while model representation of relative humidity and aerosol vertical profile shape contributes some systematic biases. The parameterization of aerosol optical properties, which determines the mass extinction efficiency, also contributes to random uncertainty, with the size distribution being the largest source of uncertainty and hygroscopicity of inorganic salt the second largest. Future efforts to reduce uncertainty in geophysical approaches to derive surface PM2.5 from satellite AOD would thus benefit from improving model representation of aerosol vertical distribution and aerosol optical properties, to narrow uncertainty in satellite-derived PM2.5.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
acp-19-295-2019.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Articolo principale
Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 4.04 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.04 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/133550
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 23
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 18
social impact