Sensitivity of Air Quality (AQ) in Eastern Canada to Transboundary Pollution and Meteorology

Webinar | March 2023


Robin Stevens
Université de Montréal

Particulate matter, NOx (nitrogen oxide (NO) + nitrogen dioxide (NO2)), and ozone (O3) are known to be associated with adverse health outcomes in humans. The purpose of this webinar is to present some research findings that helpto better understand the sources of air pollution in order to craft policies that allow for economic growth while also reducing the impacts on populations of poor air quality. 

Robin Stevens, Senior Research Advisor (Université de Montréal) will present simulations using the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model with 0.5° x 0.625° resolution to determine the regional contributions to air pollution in Quebec. Specifically, he will present sensitivity studies that determine the contributions due to anthropogenic emissions from three different regions: from within Quebec, from the rest of Canada (excluding Quebec), and from the United States. 

The results show that that emissions from each of these three source regions make a significant contribution to the surface concentrations of all three pollutants in Quebec, with variations depending on location. For example, the anthropogenic emissions from Quebec, the rest of Canada, and the United States contribute up to 80%, 30%, and 50% of NOx concentrations in Quebec, respectively, depending on location within the province.

For each of these sensitivity simulations, a statistical model was created to link air pollutant concentrations to local and regional meteorology. This was done by performing a linear regression of the pollutant concentrations against common meteorological variables as well as a singular value decomposition of the regional meteorology to capture synoptic factors.

The analysis is performed independently for each horizontal grid cell and each month to isolate geographical and seasonal patterns. These statistical models  will help make predictions about how pollution transport into Quebec may change in the future as a result of climate change.

Please note that this webinar will not be available for replay.


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