A High-Resolution National Emission Inventory and Dispersion Modelling—Is Population Density a Sufficient Proxy Variable?
Air quality modeling at high spatial resolution over large domains enables comprehensive health impact assessment. Spatially finely resolved emission inventories are a crucial component for reliable modeling. Spatialization of emissions from disperse emission sources (e.g. road transport) is performed using GIS-based spatial information, i.e. spatial proxies (e.g. road network and traffic volume data). For some important emission source sectors, however, it is challenging to define proxies that adequately represent the spatial distribution of emissions, and, for the lack of more representative information, population density is often used as a proxy. However, that is rarely a realistic representation and might distort the resulting assessments of their population exposure and health impacts. This study presents the impacts of the spatial allocation process and its improvements for machinery sector, by using an emission model at 250 m grid resolution in Finland. The corresponding influence on the modeled population exposure to PM2.5 is also presented. The improvements in the gridding procedures had a substantial impact on the modeled concentrations, especially in areas with denser population. For example, the emissions in Helsinki area from the machinery sector decreased by 41% due to the improvements. We conclude that it is necessary to use more realistic spatial proxies instead of the population density for evaluating the emissions originated from various emission categories.
KeywordsEmissions PM2.5 Machinery Gridding Population exposure
This work has been funded by Academy of Finland in the project Environmental impact assessment of airborne particulate matter: the effects of abatement and management strategies (BATMAN) and NordForsk under the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare Project #75007: Understanding the link between air pollution and distribution of related health impacts and welfare in the Nordic countries (NordicWelfAir).
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