Fire crews combat a bushfire on Canberra’s Black Mountain.
Australian Air Quality Forecasting System
The Australian Air Quality Forecasting System predicts daily levels of photochemical smog, atmospheric particles (including wind-blown dust and smoke) and 22 other pollutants.
12 January 2007 | Updated 14 October 2011
The Australian Air Quality Forecasting System (AAQFS) predicts daily levels of photochemical smog, atmospheric particles (including wind-blown dust and smoke), and 22 other pollutants.
Information from the AAQFS:
helps people plan outdoor activities
enables environment protection agencies and industry to test the effectiveness of strategies to reduce air pollution
raises awareness of air quality as an environmental issue.
The AAQFS, initially funded by the Air Pollution in Major Cities Program under Environment Australia’s Natural Heritage Trust, has been operating daily since 2000.
When used in combination, forecasts of haze and air quality degradation will provide a valuable tool for relating the perceived and health-related air-quality issues.
It is a joint initiative between:
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research
CSIRO Energy Technology
Bureau of Meteorology
Environmental Protection Authority Victoria
Environmental Protection Authority NSW
Environmental Protection Authority South Australia.
The Bureau of Meteorology generates the high resolution weather forecasts used in the system, and CSIRO has created computer models to calculate pollution levels.
The joint Bureau of Meteorology/CSIRO super-computer enables computation of operational air quality forecasts in less than 20 minutes per region, showing how air quality will vary, hour-by-hour, suburb-by-suburb, over the next 36 hours.
A forecast is issued by 3.00 pm to meet the operational requirements of the Environmental Protection Authorities and a second, confirmatory, forecast is issued at 9.00 am the following morning.
The emissions inventory used to drive the forecasts is updated daily in response to the weather forecast and the expected changes in daily traffic patterns.
A long-term goal is to extend the air quality forecasting system to other regions in Australia and to use the system to simulate and forecast haze or visibility degradation, the measure often used by the public as the primary indicator of air quality. When used in combination, forecasts of haze and air quality degradation will provide a valuable tool for relating the perceived and health-related air-quality issues.
Look at the Australian Air Quality Forecast System.
Australia-wide dust and fire-smoke forecasts
Forecasts of wind-blown dust and fire smoke have been included in the Australia-wide AAQFS because of the importance of these aerosol sources, particularly during dry summers.
A method of determining fire burn intensities and aerosol emission rates has been developed based on the Sentinel Hotspots satellite system.
The forecasting system will help predict extreme pollution events, which in the last few years have been due to drought-related effects such as wind-blown dust and bushfire smoke.
Look at the Australia-wide dust and fire-smoke forecasts.
Cope ME, Hess GD, Lee SH, Tory KJ, Burgers M and Lilley B. 2008. The Australian Air Quality Forecasting System: the use of green scenarios of motor vehicle usage as an educational tool. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. 58 (7): 858-864.
Young SA, Lee SH, Cope ME, Vaughan MA, Omar A, Hu Y and Liu Z. 2008. CALIPSO satellite lidar identification of elevated dust over Australia compared with air quality model PM60 forecasts [15 page PDF]. 24th International Laser Radar Conference; Boulder, CO, USA 23-27 June 2008, Boulder, CO, USA. Boulder, Colarado: The Conference Steering Committee of the 24th ILRC. 15 slides.
Cope ME and Hess GD. 2005. Air quality forecasting: a review and comparison of the approaches used internationally and in Australia [9 page PDF]. Clean Air and Environmental Quality. 39 (1): 39-45.
Hess GD, Tory KJ, Lee SH, Wain AG, Cope ME. 2006. Modelling the King Island bushfire smoke. Australian Meteorological Magazine. 55(2): 93-103.
Wain AG, Lee SH, Mills GA, Hess GD, Cope ME, Tindale N. 2006. Meteorological overview and verification of HYSPLIT and AAQFS dust forecasts for the dust storm of 22-24 October 2002. Australian Meteorological Magazine. 55(1): 35-46.
Manins PC. 2001. Air quality forecasting for Australia's major cities: final report. Prepared by Project Management Committee PSS: dh79A. Aspendale, Vic: CSIRO Atmospheric Research. ii, a-b, Executive vii, 341 pp. Manins PC, Project leader.