EGU23-10385, updated on 25 Apr 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Investigating expanding air pollution and climate change on the African continent using TROPOMI data

Pieternel Levelt1,2,3, Deborah Stein2, Sara-Eva Martinez1, Wenfu Tang1, Helen Worden1, Louisa Emmons1, Benjamin Gaubert1, Henk Eskes2, Ronald van der A2, and Pepijn Veefkind2,3
Pieternel Levelt et al.
  • 1NCAR, ACOM, Boulder, United States of America (
  • 2KNMI, de Bilt, Netherlands
  • 3Technical University Delft, Delft, Netherlands

In the coming decades, a large increase in population is expected to occur on the African continent, leading to a doubling of the current population, which will reach 2.5 billion by 2050. At the same time, the African continent is experiencing substantial economic growth. As a result, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions will increase considerably with expected health impacts on the African population. The impact of wildfires also needs to be carefully assessed. Will the frequency of fire episodes increase? And how will this perturbation compare with anthropogenic emissions in urban areas? In the decades ahead, Africa’s contribution to climate change and air pollution will become increasingly important.  

Time has come to address the changing role of Africa in understanding and quantifying global environmental change.  What can we learn from the new TROPOMI satellite data for Africa, in combination with emerging modelling efforts including the MUSICA development at NCAR and the development of inverse modelling techniques? How can we deal with the lack of surface observations in many areas of Africa?

We will show several recent achievements related to Africa, using space observations and modeling approaches as a contribution towards the development of an integrated community effort to better characterize air quality and climate-related processes in this continent.  This presentation will mainly focus on the potential of the use of TROPOMI data for Africa Research.

How to cite: Levelt, P., Stein, D., Martinez, S.-E., Tang, W., Worden, H., Emmons, L., Gaubert, B., Eskes, H., van der A, R., and Veefkind, P.: Investigating expanding air pollution and climate change on the African continent using TROPOMI data, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10385,, 2023.