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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 11 Mar 2020

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 11 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Evaluation of air quality forecasting system FORAIR_IT over Europe and Italy at high resolution for year 2017

Mario Adani, Guido Guarnieri, Lina Vitali, Luisella Ciancarella, Ilaria D'Elia, Mihaela Mircea, Maurizio Gualtieri, Andrea Cappelletti, Massimo D'Isidoro, Gino Briganti, Antonio Piersanti, Milena Stracquadanio, Gaia Righini, Felicita Russo, Giuseppe Cremona, Maria Gabriella Villani, and Gabriele Zanini Mario Adani et al.
  • ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Italy

Abstract. Air pollution represents a global threat leading to large impacts on health and ecosystems and many European areas still show a poor air quality. Many measures and policies have been adopted in the past decades at European, national, regional and even local level and many tools have been developed to tackle this issue. Among these tools, the European Air Quality Directive places more emphasis on the use of models for air quality assessment and management. Within this context, air quality forecasting systems play an important role in supporting decision makers when short-term actions are required to reduce human health risks by limiting population exposure. In this framework, at European level within the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), the regional air quality models participating to the service provide 4-day daily forecasts of the main atmospheric pollutants concentrations, in the lowest layers of the atmosphere. This work presents the development and the performances evaluation of FORAIR_IT, an high-resolution air quality forecasting system operating at both European (20 km) and Italian (4 km) scales. Its skill results are compared with CAMS_50 interim ensemble reanalysis (IRA) ones and a long lasting PM10 exceeding event, occurred in Emilia Romagna region in October 2017, is studied in more detail. Results show similar skill scores between FORAIT_IT and CAMS_50. Comparing the annual average of the monthly Root Mean Square Error Difference (RMSED) between FORAIT_IT first forecast day and CAMS_50, over the European domain the RMSED is 0.6, 1.7, 1.4 and 7.4 μg/m3 for daily mean PM10 and PM2.5 and daily maximum for NO2 and O3, respectively, while over the Italian domain it is  1.2, 0.3,  4.3 and 3.8 μg/m3. The importance of increasing model resolution in the region of interest is highlighted by the lower values of RMSED over Italy with respect to Europe. The results obtained by the detailed analysis of the PM10 exceeding event suggests the crucial role of the meteorological forcing in capturing both the timing and the intensity of the exceedances. As far as we know FORAIR_IT is the first forecasting system at high spatial resolution at Italian National level.

Mario Adani et al.

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Mario Adani et al.

Mario Adani et al.


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Latest update: 23 Sep 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The National Air Quality forecasting system FORAIR_IT may be considered a state of the art model, and as far as we know it is the first forecasting system at high spatial resolution proposed at Italian National level. FORAIR_IT may be a useful tool that the policy makers might use in order to apply extraordinary procedure to prevent/mitigate high levels of air pollution. Moreover general population might take advantage of FORAIR_IT to get used to the complexity of air quality issues.
The National Air Quality forecasting system FORAIR_IT may be considered a state of the art...