As environmental standards become more stringent (e.g. European Directive 2008/50/EC), more reliable and sophisticated modeling tools are needed to simulate measures and plans that may effectively tackle air quality exceedances, common in large cities across Europe, particularly for NO2. Modeling air quality in urban areas is rather complex since observed concentration values are a consequence of the interaction of multiple sources and processes that involve a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Besides a consistent and robust multi-scale modeling system, comprehensive and flexible emission inventories are needed. This paper discusses the application of the WRF-SMOKE-CMAQ system to the Madrid city (Spain) to assess the contribution of the main emitting sectors in the region. A detailed emission inventory was compiled for this purpose. This inventory relies on bottom-up methods for the most important sources. It is coupled with the regional traffic model and it makes use of an extensive database of industrial, commercial and residential combustion plants. Less relevant sources are downscaled from national or regional inventories. This paper reports the methodology and main results of the source apportionment study performed to understand the origin of pollution (main sectors and geographical areas) and define clear targets for the abatement strategy. Finally the structure of the air quality monitoring is analyzed and discussed to identify options to improve the monitoring strategy not only in the Madrid city but the whole metropolitan area.
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