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Simulations of air quality in West Africa: An evaluation of the emissions, sources, seasonality and impacts of pollutants

Morris, Eleanor Rose (2019) Simulations of air quality in West Africa: An evaluation of the emissions, sources, seasonality and impacts of pollutants. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Poor air quality and its impacts on human and ecosystem health are a major global environmental concern. Anthropogenic emissions in West Africa are forecast to rise significantly as a result of rapid population growth and economic development; yet unlike regions such as Europe, North America, China and India, air quality in West Africa remains considerably understudied. In this thesis, a new regional configuration of the GEOS-Chem model has been used to evaluate global and regional anthropogenic emissions for West Africa against airborne measurements from the Dynamics-Aerosol-Chemistry-Cloud Interactions in West Africa (DACCIWA) campaign. Serious failings have been identified in these inventories. Anthropogenic emissions of nitric oxide and sulfur dioxide are significantly under represented, with significant differences also found in both the anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions of carbon monoxide, organic carbon and black carbon. Simple optimisation of the emissions produces an improved simulation and results in a two-fold enhancement of fine particulate matter concentrations. The emission and meteorological factors driving seasonal changes in pollutant concentrations have also been investigated. Surface concentrations in West Africa have been found to be influenced by anthropogenic activities throughout the year and also by biomass burning and dust during the dry season (October to March). Whilst gaseous pollutants rarely exceed World Health Organisation guidelines, particulate matter is frequently in exceedance of the limits and poses a major health risk in West Africa. These exceedances are predominantly caused by dust and anthropogenic emissions, with biomass burning also playing a role in elevating concentrations, mainly as a result of local burning events during the dry season. Modelling studies of West African air quality remain limited by the paucity of observations. Increased collection and open dissemination of pollutant measurements is required to fully optimise inventories, improve models, assess the impacts of pollution and hence develop effective control strategies in the region.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Chemistry (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.808732
Depositing User: Miss Eleanor Rose Morris
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2020 00:11
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/27056

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