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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Jun Meng; Randall V. Martin; Chi Li; Aaron Van Donkelaar; Zitely A. Tzompa-Sosa; Xu Yue; Jun-Wei Xu; Crystal L. Weagle; Richard T. Burnett
Publication Date: 2019

Understanding the sectoral contribution of emissions to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) offers information for air quality management, and for investigation of association with health outcomes. This study evaluates the contribution of different emission sectors to PM2.5 in 2013 for Canada using the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model, downscaled with satellite-based PM2.5. Despite the low population-weighted PM2.5 concentrations of 5.5 g m-3 across Canada, we find that over 70% of population-weighted PM2.5 originates from Canadian sources followed by 30% from the contiguous United States. The three leading sectoral contributors to population weighted PM2.5 over Canada are wildfires with 1.0 g m-3 (17%), transportation with 0.96 g m-3 (16%) and residential combustion with 0.91 g m-3 (15%). The relative contribution to population-weighted PM2.5 of different sectors varies regionally with residential combustion as the leading contributor in Central Canada (19%); while wildfires dominate over Northern Canada (59%), Atlantic Canada (34%) and Western Canada (18%). The contribution from U.S. sources is larger over Central Canada (33%) than over Western Canada (17%), Atlantic Canada (17%) and Northern Canada (< 2%). Sectoral trend analysis showed that the contribution from anthropogenic sources to population-weighted PM2.5 decreased from 7.1 g/m3 to 3.4 g/m3 over the last two decades.

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Citation: Meng, Jun; Martin, Randall V.; Li, Chi; van Donkelaar, Aaron; Tzompa-Sosa, Zitely A.; Yue, Xu; Xu, Jun-Wei; Weagle, Crystal L.; Burnett, Richard T. 2019. Source contributions to ambient fine particulate matter for Canada. Environmental Science & Technology 53(17):10269-10278.

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • Canada
  • PM - particulate matter
  • PM2.5
  • wildfires
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 58409