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Application of an Adaptive Nudging Scheme in Air Quality Forecasting in China

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  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • | 3 State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 4 Nanjing Information Engineering University, Nanjing, China
  • | 5 State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

A major challenge for air quality forecasters is to reduce the uncertainty of air pollution emission inventory. Error in the emission data is a primary source of error in air quality forecasts, much like the effect of error in the initial conditions on the accuracy of weather forecasting. Data assimilation has been widely used to improve weather forecasting by correcting the initial conditions with weather observations. In a similar way, observed concentrations of air pollutants can be used to correct the errors in the emission data. In this study, a new method is developed for estimating air pollution emissions based on a Newtonian relaxation and nudging technique. Case studies for the period of 1–25 August 2006 in 47 cities in China indicate that the nudging technique resulted in improved estimations of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions in the majority of these cities. Predictions of SO2 and NO2 concentrations in January, April, August, and October using the emission estimations derived from the nudging technique showed remarkable improvements over those based on the original emission data.

Corresponding author address: Lian Xie, Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8208. Email: xie@ncsu.edu

Abstract

A major challenge for air quality forecasters is to reduce the uncertainty of air pollution emission inventory. Error in the emission data is a primary source of error in air quality forecasts, much like the effect of error in the initial conditions on the accuracy of weather forecasting. Data assimilation has been widely used to improve weather forecasting by correcting the initial conditions with weather observations. In a similar way, observed concentrations of air pollutants can be used to correct the errors in the emission data. In this study, a new method is developed for estimating air pollution emissions based on a Newtonian relaxation and nudging technique. Case studies for the period of 1–25 August 2006 in 47 cities in China indicate that the nudging technique resulted in improved estimations of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions in the majority of these cities. Predictions of SO2 and NO2 concentrations in January, April, August, and October using the emission estimations derived from the nudging technique showed remarkable improvements over those based on the original emission data.

Corresponding author address: Lian Xie, Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8208. Email: xie@ncsu.edu

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