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Modelling Street-Scale Resolution Air Quality for the West Midlands (UK) Using the ADMS-Urban RML System

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Air Pollution Modeling and its Application XXVIII (ITM 2021)


Air pollution is a major environmental concern in urban areas, causing substantial adverse effects on human health. This study simulated street-scale resolution air quality for the West Midlands region in the UK using a regional-to-local coupled system, which combined the regional CMAQ model with the local ADMS-Urban model, without double-counting emissions. CMAQ was used to represent dispersion on large temporal and spatial scales, while ADMS-Urban represents the local short-term dispersion from explicit point and road sources. Both models were evaluated against observations with reasonable performance, i.e. CMAQ captured measured air pollutant concentrations at background sites, while coupled ADMS-Urban RML (Regional Model Link) also captured air pollution concentrations at roadside sites, where local effects were important. Street scale air quality maps were produced from the ADMS-Urban RML, which can be linked to health-related exposure studies. The coupled air quality modelling system for WM serves as an effective tool to evaluate potential regional and local air pollution mitigation policies.

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This research was funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) project WM-Air, grant number NE/S003487/1.

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Correspondence to Jian Zhong .

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How did the ADMS-Urban RML system avoid double-counting the local emissions?


The local ADMS-Urban model used concentrations from the regional CMAQ model as urban background conditions. These also included contributions from local emissions, so the concentration field due to initial dispersion from gridded local emissions in the ADMS-Urban model was removed before adding the contribution from the explicit street-scale local emissions.


Can you explain PM2.5 evaluation results from the RML system?


For urban background sites, the RML system predicted concentrations similar to those from the regional CMAQ model, as there was little influence from the explicit road sources. For the roadside site, RML predicted only slightly higher concentrations than the regional CMAQ model as the PM2.5 contribution from long-range regional background remained dominant. There were a limited number of available sites for PM2.5 within the region.


How did the model capture the effect caused by buildings on air pollution dispersion?


The ADMS-Urban RML system has a street canyon module which calculates street canyon effects on air pollution dispersion from explicit road sources, and also an urban canopy module which represents the overall flow and turbulence effects caused by buildings within the grids.

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Zhong, J. et al. (2022). Modelling Street-Scale Resolution Air Quality for the West Midlands (UK) Using the ADMS-Urban RML System. In: Mensink, C., Jorba, O. (eds) Air Pollution Modeling and its Application XXVIII. ITM 2021. Springer Proceedings in Complexity. Springer, Cham.

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