Particulates and policy— the role of models

01 Oct 1999

In the companion article in this Review (pp. 6–9) we examine the current state of understanding on the sources of particulate matter (emission inventories) and their contribution to ambient levels in the air we breathe (source apportionment). This serves to highlight the high degree of uncertainty in both areas. When it comes to the development and use of models that attempt to link emissions with air quality and to evaluate the efficacy of various emission reduction measures on current air quality, reliable emission inventories and source attribution are vital. In this article we will review the implications of these current uncertainties on particulate modelling with a particular focus on their implications for robust policy making. The purpose is not to focus on any particular models but rather to address the key question ‘what policy questions can/can’t current ‘state of art’ models help to us to answer?’.