Modeling air pollution in Lebanon: evaluation at a suburban site in Beirut during summer
Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, which is located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean basin, experiences high air pollution episodes. Annual average concentrations of coarse and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) as well as nitrogen oxides (NOx) often exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Therefore, improving air quality in this region is essential. The Polyphemus/Polair3D modeling system is used here to investigate air pollution episodes in Beirut during 2 to 18 July 2011. The modeling domain covers two nested grids of 1 and 5 km horizontal resolution over greater Beirut and Lebanon, respectively. The anthropogenic emission inventory was developed earlier (Waked et al., 2012). The Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) model is used to generate the meteorological fields and the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN) is used for biogenic emissions. The results of the study are compared to measurements from a field campaign conducted in the suburb of Beirut during 2-18 July 2011. The model reproduces satisfactorily the concentrations of most gaseous pollutants, the total mass of PM2.5 as well as PM2.5 elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC), and sulfate. Ozone concentrations are overestimated and it appears that this overestimation results mainly from the boundary conditions.