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Satellite-based aerosol mapping over megacities: Development of methodology and application in health and climate related studies

Background and research goals

With a two-pronged approach this project addresses health and climate related issues in the Pearl River Delta (PRD).  While burden of disease assessments are being established by Bielefeld University (UBI) with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in PRD a satellite based methodology to retrieve high-resolution columnar aerosol data over PRD is developed.  The necessary instrumental development for high-resolution surface albedo measurements and related testing will be done over Leipzig during the first 2 years while Peking University (PKU) retrieves aerosol information with existing methodology from MODIS data over PRD.  This retrieval method will need to be developed further for geostationary satellite data and be validated by means of airborne surface albedo measurements and complementary surface and boundary layer aerosol data taken during 2 validation campaigns in PRD.  Based on an inventory of existing health statistics for the PRD and their critical evaluation, we will use summary measures of population health for a detailed mapping of major disease burdens with the attempt to specify these assessments for PRD subpopulations (migrants, floating populations, inhabitants of marginal settlements).  With the help of the satellite-derived aerosol information the burden of disease data will be associated with environmental exposures and projections will be made considering future trends of risk factor and disease burden.  It will be explored how mathematical modeling can be used for improvements of summary measures of population health in PRD.  The satellite derived aerosol data will be combined with global model simulations by the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry to analyze the air pollution footprint of PRD and its effect on global climate.

Research Team

Leibniz-Institute of Tropospheric Research University of Leipzig, Department of Meteorology University of Bielefeld, Department of Public Health Medicine