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Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Nov 21. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b04279. [Epub ahead of print]

Estimating daily PM2.5 and PM10 over Italy using an ensemble model.


Spatiotemporal resolved particulate matter (PM) estimates are essential for reconstructing long and short term exposures in epidemiological research. Improved estimates of PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations were produced over Italy for 2013-2015 using satellite remote sensing data and an ensemble modeling approach. The following modeling stages were used: (1) missing values of the satellite based aerosol optical depth (AOD) product were imputed using a spatiotemporal land-use random-forest (RF) model incorporating AOD data from atmospheric ensemble models; (2) daily PM estimations were produced using four modeling approaches: linear mixed effects (LMM), RF, extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost) and a chemical transport model, the flexible air quality regional model (FARM). The filled-in MAIAC AOD together with additional spatial and temporal predictors were used as inputs in the three first models; (3) a geographically weighted generalized additive model (GAM) ensemble model was used to fuse the estimations from the four models by allowing the weights of each model to vary over space and time. The GAM ensemble model outperformed the four separate models, decreasing the cross-validated root mean squared error by 1-42%, depending on the model. The spatiotemporal resolved PM estimations produced by the suggested model can be applied in future epidemiological studies across Italy.


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