Monitoring Aerosol Pollution in the Atmosphere

Paul Aplin, Professor of Geography, is working with a colleague at Henan Polytechnic University in China, Dr Pei Liu, to enhance air quality monitoring from satellite imagery.

Rapid growth in global human population, industry and urbanization has led to widespread deterioration of air quality. Aerosol pollution, in particular, has worrying consequences for human wellbeing (e.g. negative health effects) and broader environmental security (e.g. contribution to climate change).

This research project, funded by the Royal Society, will exploit new image data from China’s MERSI-II satellite to increase the level of detail and accuracy with which aerosol can be detected, focusing on test areas in both China and the UK. The project team at Edge Hill includes Dr Sue Jones, an air pollution expert; Kwame Awuah, a doctoral researcher in environmental remote sensing; and Dr Ardhendu Berera, an expert in complex computational modelling.

The end goal is to improve atmospheric monitoring capability, creating an opportunity to reduce air pollution and improve human health. Project findings will be shared with key legislative and healthcare beneficiaries such as Henan Province Department of Ecology and Environment and Zhengzhou First Peoples Hospital in China; and, in the UK, DEFRA which oversees national compliance with international air quality legislation, and the NHS which oversees response to respiratory illness.