HALO above city


Effect of Megacities on the transport and transformation of pollutants on the Regional to Global scales

The number and size of major population centers (MPCs) is increasing worldwide. The investigation of the impact of transport and transformation of plumes from MPC has lately received much attention in the scientific community but our knowledge is still quite limited and inadequate.

EMeRGe exploits the unique capabilities of the new High Altitude and LOng Range (HALO) aircraft research platform to investigate the impact of MPC emissions on air pollution at local, regional and hemispheric scales by making dedicated airborne measurement campaigns, coupled interpretation and modelling studies of primarily the short lived climate pollutants, i.e. reactive gases, temporary reservoirs, and aerosol particles.

The transport and transformation of plumes from selected European and Asian MPC will be investigated with special focus on the rate of formation of ozone and aerosols. Two field campaigns using an optimized payload of measurements on board the HALO platform based in Europe and Asia are planned.

In EMeRGe the composition of the plumes of pollution entering and leaving Europe and leaving Asia will be measured by performing optimized transects and vertical profiling. This strategy enables the outflow from a variety of MPCs, having different characteristics, to be studied in quasi-Lagrangian approach and therefore to identify differences and commonalities in the transport, and transformation of the outflow from European and Asian MPCs. Key scientific questions of the analysis will be the dispersion and transport patterns, the factors dominating the chemical transformation of MPCs emissions, the regional, hemispheric and global effect of European and Asian MPCs in the change of atmospheric composition, the relevance of emission from European and Asian MPCs for radiative forcing and climate change and the adequacy of chemical models for the simulation of transport and transformation processes of European and Asian MPC plumes.

An additional overarching objective of EMeRGe to the stand-alone EMeRGe objectives is to stimulate measurements and modelling studies, within an international EMeRGe research partnership with the European, Asian, and American science community. This will facilitate a much more comprehensive integrated analysis of all set of observational data products (i.e. aircraft, ground and satellite based data), making EMeRGe a milestone in the study of the transport and transformation of plumes from MPCs.