BSC and Mexico City to develop tools for the evaluation of policies against air pollution

11 July 2017

The Secretary for Environment of the Government of Mexico City and the Director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center are to sign an agreement to develop these technologies

The Secretary for Environment of Mexico City (SEDEMA), Tanya Müller, and the Director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Mateo Valero, have signed an agreement to develop modelling tools that will allow to evaluate both management and quality air improvement policies in the city. This agreement is a new step in the collaboration between BSC and SEDEMA, which have already cooperated in the development and launching of a weather forecast system for Mexico City and its metropolitan area.

The air quality forecast system for Mexico City developed by BSC and commissioned by SEDEMA has been operationally working since the beginning of 2017 and allows to estimate the main atmospheric pollutants’ concentrations (NO2, SO2, CO, O3, PM10, PM2.5) on a high-spatial (1 km2) and high-temporal (1 hour) resolution. The system carries out air quality forecasts for ozone with a 24/48-hour anticipation, thereby rendering a public service of information for its inhabitants.

Now both institutions are willing to improve the forecast and assessment characteristics of this system, setting as a main objective the building of a tool which allows to evaluate the main policies of environmental management included in the Programme to Improve Air Quality of the Metropolitan Area in the Valley of Mexico (PROAIRE 2011-2020) and the Programme for Environmental and Atmospheric Contingencies (PCAA). The aim of these tools is to enable that environmental policies, aimed at improving air quality, include quantitative objectives for a decrease in the pollution and an evaluation of cost-benefit in different time-scales.

The air quality forecast system of Mexico City was carried out following the experience of CALIOPE, the BSC-developed system which offers 48-hour air quality forecasts for Spain and Europe, thanks to the combination of different numerical simulation models (meteorology, emissions and photochemical transport) executed by the MareNostrum Supercomputer.

CALIOPE analyses the air quality in a given area and the concentrations of the main pollutants (ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and particles) in it.

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