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Ministry of Environment joins hands with NASA and local and foreign academic researchers to launch 3D research on Kaoping air quality

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To understand the causes of air pollution and the effects from atmospheric circulations on the air quality in the Kaohsiung-Pingtung (Kaoping) area, the Ministry of Environment, in cooperation with the Central Weather Administration of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Central University, and other academic institutions will launch the Kao-Ping Experiment (KPEx) in the spring of 2024. KPEx, the first large-scale international measurement campaign on the air quality in Taiwan since the establishment of the Ministry of Environment, will precisely map out the three-dimensional distribution of air pollution in Kaoping, while under the influence of different weather patterns. To this end, KPEx scientists will integrate measurements from ground-level monitoring stations, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), sounding balloons, wind profilers, LIDAR, solar radiometers, and satellites. Closely detailing the physical transport mechanisms and chemistry that dictate the air quality level will provide a scientific basis for the formulation of air pollution control strategies in Taiwan.

To facilitate the aims of KPEx, the Ministry of Environment has coordinated to have the NASA COMMIT (Chemical, Optical, and Microphysical Measurements of In-situ Troposphere) in-situ observatory and the IMPACT (Integrated Measurements of Pollution and Aerosol Composition & Transformation) in-situ observatory from National Taiwan University set up at National Feng-Shan Senior High School and Kaohsiung Municipal Nanzih Senior High School, respectively. In addition, advanced mobile monitoring vehicles from the Environmental Protection Bureaus of Kaohsiung City will join KPEx and measure major air pollutants and hazardous pollutants, such as heavy metals, elemental carbon, organic carbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, etc.. Ministry of Environment air quality stations in Ciaotou, Nanzih, Cianjin, Fengshan, Siaogang, and Linyuan will participate in KPEx, which will provide a more comprehensive dataset to understand the complex transformation and reactions involving trace gases, PM2.5, and ultra-fine particles (UFP) and their impact on the air quality and visibility in the Kaoping area.

To assess the vertical profiles of air pollutants and the vertical component of atmospheric circulation, sounding balloons, wind profilers, LIDAR, solar radiometers, and UAVs equipped with samplers will be utilized during KPEx. These air samples will be analyzed for trace gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are air pollutants or air toxics in their own right, but are also precursors to ozone and PM2.5. The vertical profiles and temporal changes of these species will be incorporated to explore the correlation between air pollutants, airflow patterns, and terrain structures. This effort will provide useful information for updating the Taiwan Emission Data System (TEDS) and model verification, which will improve Taiwan’s simulation capabilities for amending pollution control policies.

Simultaneously with KPEx, NASA will be collaborating with Taiwan, as well as other countries including South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia, to conduct the Airborne and Satellite Investigation of Asian Air Quality (ASIA-AQ) experiment in the spring of 2024. The aim of ASIA-AQ is to understand the three-dimensional spatial changes of regional and transboundary air pollutants in Asia. The Ministry of Environment looks forward to future collaborations that involve international information and technology exchange, facilitating discussions on the dynamic and chemical mechanisms, as well as improving the regional air quality by promoting cooperation in air pollution control.

Overall, KPEx is an ambitious large-scale study launched by the Ministry of Environment to analyze the three-dimensional spatial and temporal variations of air pollutants affected by atmospheric circulations and topography. The research aims to explore the mechanisms of long-range air pollutant transport, mixing, and aging processes of air masses, as well as secondary pollutant formation and distribution. By integrating and verifying the results with models, the KPEx effort seeks to improve the capability for future regulatory assessments. This marks the first extensive and intensive observation experiment on air pollution in Taiwan, with the potential to integrate capacity, scientific achievements, and policy applications. It also serves as a paradigm for scientific research and international cooperation in the future.

Ministry of Environment joins hands with NASA and local and foreign academic researchers to launch 3D research on Kaoping air quality

Remarks by Dr. Shieu Fuh-Sheng Minister of Environment

Pollutant circulation map in Kaoping area

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MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT JOINS HANDS WITH NASA AND LOCAL AND FOREIGN ACADEMIC RESEARCHERS TO LAUNCH 3D RESEARCH ON KAOPING AIR QUALITY.JPG
2024-03-08 JPG 21
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REMARKS BY DR. SHIEU FUH_SHENG MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT.JPG
2024-03-08 JPG 20
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POLLUTANT CIRCULATION MAP IN KAOPING AREA.JPG
2024-03-08 JPG 18
Source: 
Ministry of Environment
Updated: 
2024-03-08
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