KU Newsletter (june 2016)
NASA Air Quality Study to Use KU Professor’s Pollutant Emissions Data

On March 28, Konkuk University announced that an air pollutant emissions database developed by Professor Jung Hun Woo’s Atmospheric Information Systems Lab will be used in KORUS-AQ: An International Cooperative Air Quality Field Study in Korea. The study will be jointly carried out by the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) of Korea and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States. According to NASA’s lead scientist, James Crawford, it will be the first time the organization will undertake a field study overseas with local scientists.

NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory as well as 400 researchers from the United States will be visiting Korea for the study. In addition to NIER and NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology and 20 other research institutes from the United States will be participating. From Korea, researchers from the National Institute of Meteorological Sciences and Seoul National University will be joining the study.

In 2013, Professor Woo’s lab developed the Comprehensive Regional Emissions Inventory for Atmospheric Transport Experiments (CREATE), an official database for KORUS-AQ, at the request of NIER. During the field study, Professor Woo’s lab is expected to monitor air quality, model pollution, and analyze satellite data. Professor Woo and graduate students from the lab plan on visiting the U.S. Airforce base in Osan to give briefings on forecast models as well as hold discussions on the flight route for DC-8 and how to conduct further research.

An authority in climate and air quality management, Professor Woo said CREATE will improve forecasting and have ramifications for environmental policies. “If domestic and international scientists use CREATE for KORUS-AQ, I expect we can deepen our understanding of the impact of pollutants from China and North Korea, which currently add uncertainty in forecasting air quality in Korea,” he said.