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C301: APID: Air Pollution Improvements for Delhi (Lead Supervisor: Alexander Archibald, Chemistry)

Supervisors: Alexander Archibald (Chemistry) and Rod Jones (Chemistry)

Importance of the area of research:

Air pollution is a global killer, particularly in regions undergoing rapid economic development (Lelieveld et al., 2014). Delhi is one of the largest megacities in the world with a current population of >18 million. It is the central hub of the National Capital Region (NCR) which combines the surrounding conurbation and numerous satellite urban areas taking the overall population to >46 million. The NCR is subject to a complex mixture of air pollution emissions. As a consequence of the complex emissions and meteorology of the region, Particulate Matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx, NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and black carbon (BC) all peak during post-monsoon periods and remain elevated during winters making the NCR one of the most polluted areas on the planet and as a result causing a devastating impact on human health.

Project summary:

APID will understand the complex role of different sources of emissions on the burden of pollutants in Delhi and use a numerical model to derive ways in which to improve air pollution in the region. To do this the student will be involved in the collection and interpretation of new observations of air pollutants in Delhi, which they will confront with model simulations from state of the art air pollution models. Model experiments will be performed to assess the impacts of changes in emissions of pollutants/precursors from a wide range of sources (i) within the NCR (ii) outside of the NCR to determine the importance of local versus regional/global control measures for air pollution.

What the student will do:

The student will use a new air quality forecasting model, AQUM (Savage et al., 2014), to study air pollution sources, validating the model results against a wide array of observations from satellites, aircraft and in situ observations collected in Delhi as part of a new NERC programme (Air Pollution and Human Health in Delhi). They will perform a series of experiments that perturb pollution/precursor emissions as well as physical climate/processes. The difference between simulations with and without perturbations can be used to then study their impacts. A key aspect will be to use the modelling to understand how best to reduce the deleterious impacts of air pollution.

Please contact the lead supervisor directly for further information relating to what the successful applicant will be expected to do, training to be provided, and any specific educational background requirements.


Lelieveld et al., 2014 Nature

Savage et al., 2014. Geo. Model. Dev.

Follow this link to find out about applying for this project.

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