Carbon monoxide air pollution on sub-city scales and along arterial roads detected by the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument

Tobias Borsdorff, Joost Aan De Brugh, Sudhanshu Pandey, Otto Hasekamp, Ilse Aben, S. Houweling, Jochen Landgraf

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) on the Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite provides measurements of carbon monoxide (CO) total column concentrations based on earthshine radiance measurements in the 2.3 μm spectral range with a spatial resolution of 7km × 7km and daily global coverage. Due to the high accuracy of the observations, CO pollution can be detected over cities and industrial areas using single orbit overpasses. In this study, we analyzed local CO enhancements in an area around Iran from 1 November to 20 December 2017. We employed the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model v3.8.1 using the EDGAR v4.2 emission inventory and evaluated CO emissions from the cities of Tehran, Yerevan, Urmia, and Tabriz on a spatial resolution comparable to that of TROPOMI. For background conditions, the WRF simulation agrees well with TROPOMI CO, with a mean difference of 5.7 %. However, the emissions for the city area had to be significantly increased in order to match the observations. Moreover, significant differences at the sub-city scale remain. To match the TROPOMI CO observations around the Armenian city of Yerevan, it is necessary to introduce CO emissions along a southeast arterial road of Yerevan. Overall, this hints at deficits in the EDGAR inventory in the region around Iran and indicates TROPOMI's capability to identify localized CO pollution on sub-city scales, which at the same time challenges current atmospheric modeling at high spatial and temporal resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3579-3588
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2019


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