A New Era of Air Quality Monitoring from Space in East Asia: Korea’s Geostationary Environmental Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) and an Integrated Korea-US Air Quality (KORUS–AQ) Study
Abstract:Due to remarkable economic growth over the last two decades, East Asia has become a region experiencing some of the poorest air quality in the world. In addition to local sources of pollution, the Korea peninsula is downwind of the largest emission sources in East Asia, complicating the understanding of air quality over Korea. Thus, knowing the factors controlling changes in air pollution across urban-rural and marine-continental interfaces, in addition to the contributions from local emissions and transboundary transport, is important for building effective management strategies and improving air quality in East Asia.
GEMS (Geostationary Environmental Monitoring Spectrometer) is a satellite instrument planned for launch in 2019 by the Republic of Korea. The instrument will observe East Asia and the western Pacific region, providing real-time monitoring of air quality (e.g. O3, NO2, SO2, HCHO, AOD, etc.) and enabling better scientific understanding of the transboundary transport of air pollutants. The KORUS–AQ (the Korea and U.S. Air Quality) field campaign will take place in May – June 2016 and will employ an integrated observing strategy including multiplatform observations (i.e. ground stations, aircraft, ships, and satellites) and chemical transport models. This mission aims to not only strengthen our knowledge of atmospheric chemistry but also provide important data sets for validating GEMS retrieval algorithms. In preparation for KORUS–AQ, a pre-campaign has been successfully conducted in Korea during early summer 2015 with observations from multiple ground sites and a small aircraft. A brief summary of pre-field campaign results will be presented.
Moving forward, the GEMS mission and KORUS–AQ study will lead to a new era of air quality monitoring in East Asia. GEMS will also make critical contributions to the global air quality perspective working in concert with geostationary missions launched by the U.S. (TEMPO: Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution) and Europe (Sentinel-4) and low-Earth orbit missions including the European Sentinel-5 Precursor.