We estimated long-term foreign contributions to the particulate matter of 2.5 μm or less in diameter (PM2.5) concentrations in South Korea with a set of air quality simulations. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)-Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions (SMOKE)-Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system was used to simulate the base and sensitivity case after a 50% reduction of foreign emissions. The effects of horizontal modeling grid resolutions (27- and 9-km) was also investigated. For this study, we chose PM2.5 in South Korea during 2010–2017 for the case study and emissions from China as a representative foreign source. The 9-km simulation results show that the 8-year average contribution of the Chinese emissions in 17 provinces ranged from 40–65%, which is ~4% lower than that from the 27-km simulation for the high-tier government segments (particularly prominent in coastal areas). However, for the same comparison for low-tier government segments (i.e., 250 prefectures), the 9-km simulation presented lowered the foreign contribution by up to 10% compared to that from the 27-km simulation. Based on our study results, we recommend using high-resolution modeling results for regional contribution analyses to develop an air quality action plan as the receptor coverage decreases.
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