S. Korea, NASA to launch joint research on sources of fine dust in Korea

This image, provided by the National Institute of Environmental Research, shows the first KORUS-AQ research held in 2016. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Mar 17, 2019, Yonhap. South Korea is seeking to team up with the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to pin down the sources of Korea’s high fine dust air pollution levels, a government agency said Sunday, reported the Yonhap.

The National Institute of Environmental Research, a research body under the Ministry of Environment, is pushing for the second round of the joint South Korea-U.S. air quality research, called KORUS-AQ, following the first carried out with NASA in 2016, the research center said.

Under the plan, the two countries will use satellite observations to locate the fine dust sources following their first 2016 research that centered on aeronautic observations to locate find dust sources. The second research is likely to start in 2021.

The results of the joint work could give South Korea more power in negotiations with China, which has denied its role in high fine dust levels in South Korea, as the country steps up efforts to improve air quality.

“In order for the South Korea-U.S. cooperation to go smoothly, the institute is carrying out its own research to analyze the impact of overseas air pollution materials, including from China,” Kim Sang-gyun, head of the institute’s environmental satellite center, said.

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