Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2024-172
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2024-172
21 May 2024
 | 21 May 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A continuous 2011–2022 record of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in East Asia at daily 2-km resolution from geostationary satellite observations: population exposure and long-term trends

Drew C. Pendergrass, Daniel J. Jacob, Yujin J. Oak, Jeewoo Lee, Minseok Kim, Jhoon Kim, Seoyoung Lee, Shixian Zhai, Hitoshi Irie, and Hong Liao

Abstract. We construct a continuous 24-h daily fine particulate matter (PM2.5) record with 2×2 km2 resolution over eastern China, South Korea, and Japan for 2011–2022 by applying a random forest (RF) algorithm to aerosol optical depth (AOD) observations from the Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI) I and II satellite instruments. The RF uses PM2.5 observations from the national surface networks as training data. PM2.5 network data starting in 2015 in South Korea are extended to pre-2015 with a RF trained on other air quality data available from the network including PM10. PM2.5 network data starting in 2014 in China are supplemented by pre-2014 data from the US embassy and consulates. Missing AODs in the GOCI data are gap-filled by a separate RF fit. We show that the resulting GOCI PM2.5 dataset is successful in reproducing the surface network observations including extreme events, and that the network data in the different countries are representative of population-weighted exposure. We find that PM2.5 peaked in 2014 (China) and 2013 (South Korea, Japan), and has been decreasing steadily since with no region left behind. We quantify the population in each country exposed to annual PM2.5 in excess of national ambient air quality standards and how this exposure evolves with time. The long record for the Seoul Metropolitan Area (SMA) shows a steady decrease from 2013 to 2022 that was not present in the first five years of AirKorea network PM2.5 measurements. Mapping of an extreme pollution event in Seoul with GOCI PM2.5 shows a predicted distribution indistinguishable from the dense urban network observations, while our previous 6×6 km2 product smoothed local features. Our product should be useful for public health studies where long-term spatial continuity of PM2.5 information is essential.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Drew C. Pendergrass, Daniel J. Jacob, Yujin J. Oak, Jeewoo Lee, Minseok Kim, Jhoon Kim, Seoyoung Lee, Shixian Zhai, Hitoshi Irie, and Hong Liao

Status: open (until 27 Jun 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2024-172', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Jun 2024 reply
Drew C. Pendergrass, Daniel J. Jacob, Yujin J. Oak, Jeewoo Lee, Minseok Kim, Jhoon Kim, Seoyoung Lee, Shixian Zhai, Hitoshi Irie, and Hong Liao

Data sets

Continuous 2011-2022 record of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in East Asia at daily 2-km resolution from GOCI I and II satellite observations Drew C. Pendergrass, Daniel J. Jacob, Yujin J. Oak, Jeewoo Lee, Minseok Kim, Jhoon Kim, Seoyoung Lee, Shixian Zhai, Hitoshi Irie, and Hong Liao https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/0GO7BS

Drew C. Pendergrass, Daniel J. Jacob, Yujin J. Oak, Jeewoo Lee, Minseok Kim, Jhoon Kim, Seoyoung Lee, Shixian Zhai, Hitoshi Irie, and Hong Liao

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Short summary
Fine particles suspended in the atmosphere are a major form of air pollution and an important public health burden. However, measurements of particulate matter are sparse in space and in places like East Asia monitors are established after regulatory policies to improve pollution have changed. In this paper, we use machine learning to fill in the gaps. We train an algorithm to predict pollution at the surface from the atmosphere’s opacity, then produce high resolution maps of data without gaps.
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