EGU24-13470, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Investigating expanding air pollution and climate change on the African continent

Pieternel Levelt1,2,3, Eloise A Marais4, Helen Worden1, Wenfu Tang1, Sara Martinez-Alonso1, David Edwards1, Henk Eskes2, Pepijn Veefkind2,3, Steve Brown5, Collins Gameli Hodoli6, Allison Felix Hughes7, Barry Lefer8, Drobot Sheldon9, and Dan Westervelt10
Pieternel Levelt et al.
  • 1NSF NCAR ACOM, Boulder Colorado, United States of America (
  • 2KNMI, De Bilt, The Netherlands
  • 3TU Delft, The Netherlands
  • 4University College Londen, UK
  • 5NOAA CSL, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 6School of Environmental, Chemical, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, USA.
  • 7Department of Physics, University of Ghana, Ghana
  • 8NASA GSFC, Washington DC, USA
  • 9Ball Aerospace, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 10Columbia University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, NY, USA

In the next few 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, Africa is experiencing substantial economic growth. As a result, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions will increase considerably with significant health impacts to people in Africa. In the decades ahead, Africa’s contribution to climate change and air pollution will become increasingly important. The time has come to determine the evolving role of Africa in global environmental change.  

We are building an Atmospheric Composition Virtual Constellation, as envisioned by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), by adding to our polar satellites,  geostationary satellites in the Northern Hemisphere : GEMS over Asia (launch 2022); TEMPO over the USA (launch 2023) and Sentinel 4 over Europe to be launched in the 2024 timeframe. However, there are currently no geostationary satellites envisioned over Africa and South-America, where we expect the largest increase in emissions in the decades to come.

In this paper the scientific need for geostationary satellite measurements over Africa will be described, partly based on several recent research achievements related to Africa using space observations and modeling approaches, as well as first assessments using the GEMS data over Asia, and TEMPO over the USA. Our ambition is to develop an integrated community effort to better characterize air quality and climate-related processes on the African continent. 


How to cite: Levelt, P., Marais, E. A., Worden, H., Tang, W., Martinez-Alonso, S., Edwards, D., Eskes, H., Veefkind, P., Brown, S., Gameli Hodoli, C., Felix Hughes, A., Lefer, B., Sheldon, D., and Westervelt, D.: Investigating expanding air pollution and climate change on the African continent, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13470,, 2024.