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New Global Data Set Available for PM2.5 Particulate Matter

Interested in PM 2.5 particulate matter and its worldwide concentrations? NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) has a new resource for you. SEDACs Global Annual PM2.5 Grids from MODIS and MISR Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) data sets represent a series of annual average grids (2001-2010) of fine particulate matter (solid particles and liquid droplets) that were derived from MODIS and MISR AOD satellite data. Together the grids provide a continuous surface of concentrations in micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller (PM2.5) for health and environmental research. The satellite AOD retrievals were converted to ground-level concentrations based on a conversion factor developed by researchers at Dalhousie University that accounts for spatial and temporal variations in aerosol properties and vertical structure as derived from a global 3-D chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem).

The raster grids have a grid cell resolution of 30 arc-minutes (approximately 1 sq. km at the equator) and cover the world from 70°N to 60°S latitude. The grids were produced by researchers at Battelle Memorial Institute in collaboration with the Center for International Earth Science Information Network/Columbia University under a NASA-ROSES project entitled "Using Satellite Data to Develop Environmental Indicators: An Application of NASA Data Products to Support High Level Decisions for National and International Environmental Protection". Exposure to fine particles is associated with premature death as well as increased morbidity from respiratory and cardiovascular disease, especially in the elderly, young children, and those already suffering from these illnesses. The World Health Organization guideline for PM2.5 average annual exposure is less than or equal to 10.0 micrograms per cubic meter, whereas the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) primary standard is less than or equal to 12.0 micrograms per cubic meter. The EPA primary standards are designed to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety.

Citation: Battelle Memorial Institute, and Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN)/Columbia University. 2013. Global Annual Average PM2.5 Grids from MODIS and MISR Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD). Palisades, NY: NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Accessed 23 April, 2013.