Special Issue "Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (27 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Chang-Keun Song
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan 44919, Korea
Interests: atmospheric chemistry; air quality; boundary layer; remote sensing; satellite; impact assessment; climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Air pollution, especially the high concentration of particulate matter (PM) and Ozone (O3), is currently one of the rising socioenvironmental issues in South Korea due to its huge impacts on the health and lifestyle of citizens. During May–June, 2016, the very special field campaign of KORUS-AQ (Korea–United States Air Quality) was conducted in order to collect comprehensive measurements of air quality and to better understand the major factors governing air quality in South Korea. Moreover, the Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) will be launched in late 2019–early 2020 to monitor air pollutants (O3, NO2, SO2, HCHO, and PM) over Asia with high spatial and temporal resolution from a geostationary earth orbit for the first time, followed by TEMPO over North America and Sentinel-4 over Europe. In these regards, the aim of this Special Issue is to introduce and discuss the current and advanced studies into air quality in South Korea. Manuscripts related to the following key scientific areas and segments are all welcome for this Special Issue:

  1. Top–down and bottom–up emission inventory and estimation over the Asian region;
  2. Observational features of past/current air quality;
  3. Modeling approach to identify current status and future conditions of air quality;
  4. Assessment of impact of air pollution on human health and others;
  5. Feedback mechanism between air quality and climate change with regional scale.

Prof. Chang-Keun Song
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • air pollution
  • KORUS-AQ campaign
  • GEMS
  • emission
  • observation
  • modeling
  • impact assessment
  • human health
  • feedback mechanism
  • climate change

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Fine-Scale Columnar and Surface NOx Concentrations over South Korea: Comparison of Surface Monitors, TROPOMI, CMAQ and CAPSS Inventory
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010101 - 15 Jan 2020
Abstract
Fine-scale nitrogen oxide (NOx) concentrations over South Korea are examined using surface observations, satellite data and high-resolution model simulations based on the latest emission inventory. While accurate information on NOx emissions in South Korea is crucial to understanding regional air [...] Read more.
Fine-scale nitrogen oxide (NOx) concentrations over South Korea are examined using surface observations, satellite data and high-resolution model simulations based on the latest emission inventory. While accurate information on NOx emissions in South Korea is crucial to understanding regional air quality in the region, consensus on the validation of NOx emissions is lacking. We investigate the spatial and temporal variation in fine-scale NOx emission sources over South Korea. Surface observations and newly available fine-scale satellite data (TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument; TROPOMI; 3.5 × 7 km2) are compared with the community multiscale air quality (CMAQ) model based on the clean air policy support system (CAPSS) 2016 emission inventory. The results show that the TROPOMI NO2 column densities agree well with the CMAQ simulations based on CAPSS emissions (e.g., R = 0.96 for June 2018). The surface observations, satellite data and model are consistent in terms of their spatial distribution, the overestimation over the Seoul Metropolitan Area and major point sources; however, the model tends to underestimate the surface concentrations during the cold season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea)
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Range Transport Influence on Key Chemical Components of PM2.5 in the Seoul Metropolitan Area, South Korea, during the Years 2012–2016
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010048 - 29 Dec 2019
Abstract
This study identified the key chemical components based on an analysis of the seasonal variations of ground level PM2.5 concentrations and its major chemical constituents (sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, organic carbon, and elemental carbon) in the Seoul Metropolitan Area (SMA), over a period [...] Read more.
This study identified the key chemical components based on an analysis of the seasonal variations of ground level PM2.5 concentrations and its major chemical constituents (sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, organic carbon, and elemental carbon) in the Seoul Metropolitan Area (SMA), over a period of five years, ranging from 2012 to 2016. It was found that the mean PM2.5 concentration in the SMA was 33.7 μg/m3, while inorganic ions accounted for 53% of the total mass concentration. The component ratio of inorganic ions increased by up to 61%–63% as the daily mean PM2.5 concentration increased. In spring, nitrate was the dominant component of PM2.5, accounting for 17%–32% of the monthly mean PM2.5 concentrations. In order to quantify the impact of long-range transport on the SMA PM2.5, a set of sensitivity simulations with the community multiscale air-quality model was performed. Results show that the annual averaged impact of Chinese emissions on SMA PM2.5 concentrations ranged from 41% to 44% during the five years. Chinese emissions’ impact on SMA nitrate ranged from 50% (winter) to 67% (spring). This result exhibits that reductions in SO2 and NOX emissions are crucial to alleviate the PM2.5 concentration. It is expected that NOX emission reduction efforts in China will help decrease PM2.5 concentrations in the SMA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea)
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Open AccessArticle
Particulate Matter and Its Impact on Mortality among Elderly Residents of Seoul, South Korea
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010018 - 23 Dec 2019
Abstract
Climate change, air pollution, and the rapidly aging population are important public health challenges. An understanding of air pollution impacts is imperative for preventing air-pollution-related deaths and illnesses, particularly in vulnerable subgroups such as the increasing population of older adults. To assess the [...] Read more.
Climate change, air pollution, and the rapidly aging population are important public health challenges. An understanding of air pollution impacts is imperative for preventing air-pollution-related deaths and illnesses, particularly in vulnerable subgroups such as the increasing population of older adults. To assess the effects of short-term air-pollution exposure on the elderly, we conducted a time-series analysis (1996–2015) of the associations between particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of <10 μm (PM10) and deaths among elderly residents of Seoul, South Korea, which has a rapidly aging population. We also investigated the synergistic effects of temperature and the lag structures of the effects by sex, cause of death, and season. A 10 μg/m3 rise in the 4-day moving average concentration of PM10 was associated with 0.31% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.18% to 0.44%), 0.32% (95% CI: 0.09% to 0.55%), and 0.22% (95% CI: –0.23% to 0.66%) increases in non-accidental, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortalities, respectively. We found a significant and strong synergistic effect of PM10 concentration and ambient temperature on mortality in elderly people. PM10 posed an increased risk of non-accidental or cardiovascular mortality with increasing temperature, whereas the associated risk of respiratory death was highest on very cold days. The shape and length of the lag structure varied with the cause of death, sex, and season. Results indicate that elderly people exposed to PM10 are at increased risk of premature death. In the near future, these risks are likely to increase in step with the temperature rise associated with climate change and the continued population aging. Stronger emission controls will be needed to minimize the increased health risks associated with air pollution, especially in regions with high populations of elderly individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea)
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Open AccessArticle
Stepwise Assessment of Different Saltation Theories in Comparison with Field Observation Data
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010010 - 20 Dec 2019
Abstract
Wind-blown dust models use input data, including soil conditions and meteorology, to interpret the multi-step wind erosion process and predict the quantity of dust emission. Therefore, the accuracy of the wind-blown dust models is dependent on the accuracy of each input condition and [...] Read more.
Wind-blown dust models use input data, including soil conditions and meteorology, to interpret the multi-step wind erosion process and predict the quantity of dust emission. Therefore, the accuracy of the wind-blown dust models is dependent on the accuracy of each input condition and the robustness of the model schemes for each elemental step of wind erosion. A thorough evaluation of a wind-blown model thus requires validation of the input conditions and the elemental model schemes. However, most model evaluations and intercomparisons have focused on the final output of the models, i.e., the vertical dust emission. Recently, a delicate set of measurement data for saltation flux and friction velocity was reported from the Japan-Australia Dust Experiment (JADE) Project, which enabled the step-by-step evaluation of wind-blown dust models up to the saltation step. When all the input parameters were provided from the observations, both the two widely used saltation schemes showed very good agreement with measurements, with the correlation coefficient and the agreement of index both being larger than 0.9, which demonstrated the strong robustness of the physical schemes for saltation. However, using the meteorology model to estimate the input conditions such as weather and soil conditions, considerably degraded the models’ performance. The critical reason for the model failure was determined to be the inaccuracy in the estimation of the threshold friction velocity (representing soil condition), followed by inaccurate estimation of surface wind speed. It was not possible to determine which of the two saltation schemes was superior, based on the present study results. Such differentiation will require further evaluation studies using more measurements of saltation flux and vertical dust emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of the Anthropogenic Fugitive, Combustion, and Industrial Dust on Winter Air Quality in East Asia
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120790 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
We estimate the effects of the anthropogenic fugitive, combustion, and industrial dust (AFCID) on winter air quality in China and South Korea for November 2015–March 2016 using the Comprehensive Regional Emissions inventory for Atmospheric Transport Experiment (KU-CREATE) monthly anthropogenic emission inventory in conjunction [...] Read more.
We estimate the effects of the anthropogenic fugitive, combustion, and industrial dust (AFCID) on winter air quality in China and South Korea for November 2015–March 2016 using the Comprehensive Regional Emissions inventory for Atmospheric Transport Experiment (KU-CREATE) monthly anthropogenic emission inventory in conjunction with a nested version of GEOS-Chem. Including AFCID emissions in models results in a better agreement with observations and a reduced normalized mean bias of −28% compared to −40% without AFCID. Furthermore, we find that AFCID amounts to winter PM10 concentrations of 17.9 μg m−3 (17%) in eastern China (30−40° N, 112−120° E) with the largest contribution of AFCID to winter PM10 concentrations of up to 45 μg m−3 occurring in eastern China causing a significant impact on air quality to downwind regions. Including AFCID in the model results in an increase of simulated winter PM10 concentrations in South Korea by 3.1 μg m−3 (9%), of which transboundary transport from China accounts for more than 70% of this increased PM10 concentration. Our results indicate that AFCID is an essential factor for winter PM10 concentrations over East Asia and its sources and physical characteristics need to be better quantified to improve PM air quality forecasts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of a Severe PM2.5 Episode in the Seoul Metropolitan Area in South Korea from 27 February to 7 March 2019: Focused on Estimation of Domestic and Foreign Contribution
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 756; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120756 - 28 Nov 2019
Abstract
In this study, domestic and foreign contributions to a severe PM2.5 episode in South Korea, in which “emergency reduction measures against particulate matter” were issued, were analyzed. During the period between 27 February and 7 March in 2019 when high PM2.5 concentrations occurred, [...] Read more.
In this study, domestic and foreign contributions to a severe PM2.5 episode in South Korea, in which “emergency reduction measures against particulate matter” were issued, were analyzed. During the period between 27 February and 7 March in 2019 when high PM2.5 concentrations occurred, the PM2.5 concentration in the Seoul metropolitan area (SMA) in South Korea was approximately 87.3 μg/m3 on average, and a severe PM2.5 concentration level of approximately 113.4 μg/m3 was observed between 3 March and 5 March. The results of the analysis conducted using the HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model and meteorological observation data showed that northwesterly wind or westerly winds were formed during the P1 and P3 periods when the PM2.5 concentration markedly increased. When the PM2.5 concentrations in East Asia were simulated using the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ), it was found that the high PM2.5 concentrations that occurred in the SMA of South Korea were mostly affected by PM2.5 transported over long distances and following atmospheric stagnation. When the domestic and foreign contributions were evaluated using the brute-force method (BFM), the foreign and domestic contribution concentrations were found to be 62.8 and 16.8 μg/m3, respectively, during the target period of this study. It was also found that the foreign contribution was 78.8%, while the domestic contribution was 21.2%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Dust Emission Reduction Factor in the ADAM2 Model Using Real-Time MODIS NDVI
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10110702 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
The Korea Meteorological Administration has employed the Asian Dust Aerosol Model 2 (ADAM2) to forecast Asian dust events since 2010, where the dust emission flux is proportional to the fourth power of the friction velocity. Currently, the dust emission reduction factor (RF) is [...] Read more.
The Korea Meteorological Administration has employed the Asian Dust Aerosol Model 2 (ADAM2) to forecast Asian dust events since 2010, where the dust emission flux is proportional to the fourth power of the friction velocity. Currently, the dust emission reduction factor (RF) is determined by the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). This study aims to improve the forecasting capability of ADAM2 by developing a daily dust RF using both monthly (January 2007 to December 2016) and real-time moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) NDVI data. We also developed a look-up table to transform the RF using NDVI and a system to update the RF by producing MODIS NDVI data for the last 30 days. Using these data, new RFs can be produced every day. To examine the impact of RF modification, the current (CTL) and new (EXP) RFs are compared during the period from March to May 2017. The simulations are verified by ground-based PM10 observations from China and Korea. Accordingly, root mean square errors (RMSEs) are reduced by 11.58% when RF is updated using real-time NDVI data. The results suggest that recent daily NDVI data contribute positively to the forecasting ability of ADAM2, in the dust source and downwind regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea)
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Open AccessArticle
Temporal Analysis of OMI-Observed Tropospheric NO2 Columns over East Asia during 2006–2015
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10110658 - 29 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The study analyzed temporal variations of Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI)-observed NO2 columns, interregional correlation, and comparison between NO2 columns and NOx emissions during the period from 2006 to 2015. Regarding the trend of the NO2 columns, the linear lines [...] Read more.
The study analyzed temporal variations of Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI)-observed NO2 columns, interregional correlation, and comparison between NO2 columns and NOx emissions during the period from 2006 to 2015. Regarding the trend of the NO2 columns, the linear lines were classified into four groups: (1) ‘upward and downward’ over six defined geographic regions in central-east Asia; (2) ‘downward’ over Guangzhou, Japan, and Taiwan; (3) ‘stagnant’ over South Korea; and (4) ‘upward’ over North Korea, Mongolia, Qinghai, and Northwestern Pacific ocean. In particular, the levels of NO2 columns in 2015 returned to those in 2006 over most of the polluted regions in China. Quantitatively, their relative changes in 2015 compared to 2006 were approximately 10%. From the interregional correlation analysis, it was found that unlike positive relationships between the polluted areas, the different variations of monthly NO2 columns led to negative relationships in Mongolia and Qinghai. Regarding the comparison between NO2 columns and NOx emission, the NOx emissions from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and Clean Air Policy Support System (CAPSS) inventories did not follow the year-to-year variations of NO2 columns over the polluted regions. In addition, the weekly effect was only clearly shown in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, indicating that the amounts of NOx emissions are significantly contributed to by the transportation sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea)
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Open AccessArticle
Possible Link Between Arctic Sea Ice and January PM10 Concentrations in South Korea
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100619 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the possible teleconnection between PM10 concentrations in South Korea and Arctic Sea ice concentrations at inter-annual time scales using observed PM10 data from South Korea, NCEP R2 data, and NOAA Sea Ice Concentration (SIC) data from [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the possible teleconnection between PM10 concentrations in South Korea and Arctic Sea ice concentrations at inter-annual time scales using observed PM10 data from South Korea, NCEP R2 data, and NOAA Sea Ice Concentration (SIC) data from 2001 to 2018. From the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis, we found that the first mode (TC1) was a large-scale mode for PM10 in South Korea and explained about 27.4% of the total variability. Interestingly, the TC1 is more dominantly influenced by the horizontal ventilation effect than the vertical atmospheric stability effect. The pollution potential index (PPI), which is defined by the weighted average of the two ventilation effects, is highly correlated with the TC1 of PM10 at a correlation coefficient of 0.75, indicating that the PPI is a good measure for PM10 in South Korea at inter-annual time scales. Regression maps show that the decrease of SIC over the Barents Sea is significantly correlated with weakening of high pressure over the Ural mountain range region, the anomalous high pressure at 500 hPa over the Korean peninsula, and the weakening of the Siberian High and Aleutian low. Moreover, these patterns are similar to the correlation pattern with the PPI, suggesting that the variability of SIC over the Barents Sea may play an important role in modulating the variability of PM10 in South Korea through teleconnection from the Barents Sea to the Korean peninsula via Eurasia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Air Pollution Studies in South Korea)
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