From Satellite Observations and Atmospheric Modeling to Air Quality Forecasts with Guy Brasseur (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany)

According to the World Health Organization, poor outdoor air quality is responsible for the premature death of about 4 million people each year. From a health point off view, air pollution is currently the worse environmental problem facing humanity, particularly in low- and medium income countries. In the last decades, remote sensing observations from space have provided unique information on the abundance, annual variations and long-term trends of chemical species including ozone in the stratosphere. Today, a grand and difficult challenge is to probe the troposphere at high spatial and temporal resolution to monitor air quality at the regional and even local scales. The TROPOMI instrument on Sentinel 5p, for example, provides unique information on nitric oxide, a major pollutant emitted by traffic, industrial operations, energy generation, etc. while several forthcoming geostationary satellites including the Korean GEMS mission, just launched, will measure chemical species at a  spatial resolution than higher than most model resolutions.

Space observations and in situ monitoring of chemical species in the atmosphere together with information about surface emissions and atmospheric chemical and physical processes provide the basis for the development of air quality forecast systems. An important concern from policymakers is the attribution of the sources responsible for our pollution episodes. The seminar will present an integrated view on these questions.

Guy Brasseur is a Senior Scientist and former Director at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. He is also a Distinguished Scholar and a former Associate Director at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO, USA. He is a Visiting Professor at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. Brasseur was the Chair of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program and more recently of the World Climate Research Program. His interests include atmospheric chemistry and climate change. His early focus was first on stratospheric ozone and chemistry of the upper atmosphere. He has contributed to the development of global atmospheric chemistry models and climate models.

Seminar was recorded on January 21, 2021