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Exploring the applicability of future air quality predictions based on synoptic system forecasts

Yuval, David M. Broday, Pinhas Alpert

Environmental Pollution 166, 65-74. 2012

For a given emissions inventory, the general levels of air pollutants and the spatial distribution of their concentrations are determined by the physiochemical state of the atmosphere. Apart from the trivial seasonal and daily cycles, most of the variability is associated with the atmospheric synoptic scale. A simple methodology for assessing future levels of air pollutants’ concentrations based on synoptic forecasts is presented. At short time scales the methodology is comparable and slightly better than persistence and seasonal forecasts at categorical classification of pollution levels. It’s utility is shown for air quality studies at the long time scale of a changing climate scenario, where seasonality and persistence cannot be used. It is demonstrated that the air quality variability due to changes in the pollution emissions can be expected to be much larger than that associated with the effects of climatic changes.

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