Earth, Space, and Environmental Chemistry

Global, High-Resolution, Reduced-Complexity Air Quality Modeling Using InMAP (Intervention Model for Air Pollution)


Each year, millions of premature deaths worldwide are caused by exposure to outdoor air pollution, especially fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Designing policies to reduce these deaths relies on air quality modeling for estimating changes in PM2.5 concentrations from many policy scenarios at high spatial resolution. However, air quality modeling typically has high requirements for computation and expertise, which limits policy design, especially in countries where most PM2.5-related deaths occur. Lower requirement reduced-complexity models exist but are generally unavailable worldwide. Here, we adapt InMAP, a reduced-complexity model originally developed for the United States, to simulate annual-average primary and secondary PM2.5 concentrations across a global-through urban spatial domain: “Global InMAP”. Global InMAP uses a variable resolution grid, with 4 km horizontal grid cell widths in cities. We evaluate Global InMAP performance both against measurements and a state-of-the-science chemical transport model, GEOS-Chem. For the emission scenarios considered, Global InMAP reproduced GEOS-Chem pollutant concentrations with a normalized mean bias of 59%–121%, which is sufficient for initial policy assessment and scoping. Global InMAP can be run on a desktop computer; simulations here took 2.6–4.4 hours. This work presents a global, open-source, reduced-complexity air quality model to facilitate air pollution policy assessment worldwide, providing a screening tool for reducing the deaths where they occur most.

Version notes

This version contains revised text and additional figures.


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