The impact of model resolution on simulated ambient air quality and associated human exposure

KOEN DE RIDDER, PETER VIAENE, KAREN VAN DE VEL, OLIVIER BRASSEUR, ANNE CHEYMOL, FRANS FIERENS

Abstract

A simple numerical experiment to evaluate the influence of model resolution on estimates of ambient air quality and associated human exposure is presented. This is done based on annual mean NO2 concentration fields for the agglomeration of Brussels and surroundings, simulated by the deterministic urban/regional-scale AURORA model at a resolution of 1 km. These NO2 concentration fields were used to calculate domain-wide exposure, which is defined here as the population density-weighted concentration. It was found that exposure decreased by 38% when degrading the resolution of the model from 1 to 64 km. A straightforward analysis revealed that this exposure reduction could be explained by the covariance between the concentration and population density patterns.

Keywords

Air quality, human exposure, model resolution

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