Concept and project objectives

The main objectives of the MEGAPOLI project are:
  Objective 1: to assess impacts of megacities and large air-pollution “hot-spots” on local, regional, and global air quality and climate;
Objective 2: to quantify feedbacks between megacity emissions, air quality, local and regional climate, and global climate change;
Objective 3: to develop and implement improved, integrated tools to assess the impacts of air pollution from megacities on regional and global air quality and climate and to evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation option

MEGAPOLI will include both basic and applied research, and will bridge the spatial and temporal scales that connect local emissions, air quality and weather conditions with global atmospheric chemistry and climate.

In order to fulfil the objectives the following scientific questions will be addressed:
Q1: What is the change of exposure of the overall population to the major air pollutants as people move into megacities? What are the health impacts of this exposure? (Objective 1)
Q2: How do megacities affect air quality on regional and global scales? What is the range of influence for major air pollutants (ozone, particulate matter, etc.)? (Objective 1)
Q3: What are the major physical and chemical transformations of air pollutants as they are moving away from megacities? What happens to the organic particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, etc? (Objective 1)
Q4: How accurate are the current emission inventories for megacities in Europe and around the world? What are the major gaps? (Objective 1)
Q5: How large is the current impact of megacities on regional and global climate? (Objective 2)
Q6: How will the growth of megacities affect future climate at global and regional scales? (Objective 2)
Q7: What is the impact of large-scale dynamic processes on air pollution from megacities? (Objective 2)
Q8: What are the key feedbacks between air quality, local climate and global climate change relevant to megacities? For example, how will climate change affect air quality in megacities? (Objective 2)
Q9: How should megacities (emissions, processing inside megacities, meteorology) be parameterised in regional and global models? (Objective 3)
Q10: What type of modelling tools should be used for the simulation of multi-scale megacity air quality - climate interactions? (Objective 3)
Q11: Which policy options are available to influence the emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases in megacities and how can these options be assessed? (Objective 3)

In order to answer the above questions and achieve the main objectives we will perform the following tasks:
  T1: Develop and evaluate integrated methodologies to improve emission data from megacities on regional through global scales; (Objective 1)
T2: Investigate physical and chemical processes starting from the street level in a megacity, continuing to the megacity scale, and then to the regional and global scales; (Objective 1)
T3: Assess regional and global impacts of megacity plumes, including: atmospheric transport (local pollution build-up and its regional/global transport) and chemical transformation of gas and aerosol pollutants emitted in megacities; (Objective 1)
T4: Quantify impacts of polluted air-masses on larger scale atmospheric dynamics (physics and chemistry, hydrological processes, long-range/hemispheric transport, etc.); (Objective 2)
T5: Determine the main mechanisms of regional meteorology/climate forcing due to megacity plumes; (Objective 2)
T6: Assess global megacity aerosol/pollutant forcing and its effects on global climate; (Objective 2)
T7: Examine feedback mechanisms including effects of climate change on megacity environment and emissions; (Objective 2)
T8: Develop improved 'integrated' tools for prediction of air pollution in megacities; (Objective 3)
T9: Evaluate these integrated modelling tools and use them in case studies for selected megacities; (Objective 3)
T10: Develop and apply a methodology to estimate the impacts of different scenarios of megacity development on human health and climate change; (Objective 3)
T11: Propose and assess mitigation options to reduce the impacts of megacity emissions: provide support for European Commission’s new air pollution and climate change strategy and policies. (Objective 3)

FP7 EC MEGAPOLI, 2008-2011