Model studies on air quality

The use of models is essential for searching effective and cost-reducing options for compliance with existing and future air pollution standards. Following successful collaborations with the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture in Saxony and the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt), the Modeling Department is continuing to be active in this field

Fig. 1: Modelled mass concentration of PM2.5 over Europe (left) and in Saxony (right).

Examples for regional investigations using COSMO-MUSCAT are the following projects:

  • The investigation of the increase in aerosol particle mass by secondary formation of ammonium sulphate and nitrate caused by SO2 and NOx emissions from large combustion plants that are directly emitted by cooling towers.
  • Estimating the influence of increased NH3 concentrations, in particular from agricultural emissions, on the formation of particle mass (AMMONISAX).

For local scales an aerosol transport model was developed that describes emission, particle formation, transport and deposition in urban areas. It is based on the atmospheric model ASAM (All Scale Atmospheric Model) whose dynamical core can be applied from micro to global scales. It is realized on a Cartesian grid with truncated grid cells for representation of orography and obstacles. It is planned to apply this model to improve predictions of exposure of urban residents to ultrafine particles in different city structures. The results will be of great interest for future epidemiological studies of respiratory diseases and immission control in urban development.