Global, high-resolution, reduced-complexity air quality modeling for PM2.5 using InMAP (Intervention Model for Air Pollution)

Sumil K. Thakrar, Christopher W. Tessum, Joshua S. Apte, Srinidhi Balasubramanian, Dylan B. Millet, Spyros N. Pandis, Julian D. Marshall, Jason D. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Each year, millions of premature deaths worldwide are caused by exposure to outdoor air pollution, especially fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Designing policies to reduce these deaths relies on air quality modeling for estimating changes in PM2.5 concentrations from many scenarios at high spatial resolution. However, air quality modeling typically has substantial requirements for computation and expertise, which limits policy design, especially in countries where most PM2.5-related deaths occur. Lower requirement reduced-complexity models exist but are generally unavailable worldwide. Here, we adapt InMAP, a reducedcomplexity model originally developed for the United States, to simulate annual-average primary and secondary PM2.5 concentrations across a global-through-urban spatial domain: "Global InMAP". Global InMAP uses a variable resolution grid, with horizontal grid cell widths ranging from 500 km in remote locations to 4km in urban locations. We evaluate Global InMAP performance against both measurements and a state-of-the-science chemical transport model, GEOS-Chem. Against measurements, InMAP predicts total PM2.5 concentrations with a normalized mean error of 62%, compared to 41% for GEOS-Chem. For the emission scenarios considered, Global InMAP reproduced GEOS-Chem pollutant concentrations with a normalized mean bias of 59%-121%, which is sufficient for initial policy assessment and scoping. Global InMAP can be run on a desktop computer; simulations here took 2.6-8.4 hours. This work presents a global, open-source, reduced-complexity air quality model to facilitate policy assessment worldwide, providing a screening tool for reducing air pollution-related deaths where they occur most.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0268714
JournalPloS one
Issue number5 May
StatePublished - May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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