Spatial Analysis of PM2.5 Concentration over Iraq during 2003-2020

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, College of Science, Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad, Iraq. E-mail:

2 Corresponding Author, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, College of Science, Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad, Iraq. E-mail:

3 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, College of Science, Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad, Iraq. E-mail:


The particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 μm (PM2.5) concentration seriously impacts the environment, climate, and human health. PM2.5 emissions are caused by anthropogenic or natural sources and are still a problem worldwide. In this study, monthly, seasonal, and annual spatial distributions of PM2.5 concentrations were analyzed over Iraq for the period 2003 to 2020 by use of the geographic information system technique. The results indicated that the PM2.5 concentration was higher in summer than in winter and autumn. The monthly mean maximum values of PM2.5 occurred during June and July with 8.4 and 8.7 µg/m3 over central and southern regions of Iraq, respectively, while monthly means of minimum values were observed during November over northern and western regions. These results conclude that the magnitude of outdoor PM2.5 concentrations varies among seasons and regions. Also, the annual means of PM2.5 were less than the standard maximum permissible limits, and their seasonal means were smaller than this limit at all seasons.


Main Subjects

Al-Timimi, Y. (2012). Assessment of drought in Iraq using standardized precipitation index (SPI) and satellite data. PhD thesis, Al-Mustansiriya University.
Al-Timimi, Y.K. (2014). Drought assessment in Iraq using analysis of Standardized precipitation index (SPI). Iraqi Journal of Physics, 12(23), 36-43.
Al-Jiboori, M.H. (2015). Atmospheric Pollution. Simea Press, p. 219.
Barber, P.W. (1984). Absorption and scattering of light by small particles. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 98(1), 290-291.
Ding, A., Nie, W., Huang, X., Chi, X., Sun, J., Kerminen, V.-M., & Yang, X. (2016). Long-term observation of air pollution-weather/climate interactions at the SORPES station: a review and outlook. Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering, 10(5), 1-15.
Bajjali, W. (2017). ArcGIS for environmental and water issues: Springer.
Frenken, K. (2009). Irrigation in the Middle East region in figures AQUASTAT Survey-2008. Water Reports (34).
Fu, C., Ding, A., & Wu, J. (2017). Review on studies of air pollution and climate change interactions in Monsoon Asia. The Global monsoon system: Research and forecast, 315-326.
Gakidou, E., Afshin, A., Abajobir, A.A., Abate, K.H., Abbafati, C., Abbas, K.M., …, & Aboyans, V. (2017). Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 84 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet, 390(10100), 1345-1422.
Garnero, G., & Godone, D. (2013). Comparisons between different interpolation techniques. The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 5, W3.
Gorai, A.K., Tchounwou, P.B., Biswal, S., & Tuluri, F. (2018). Spatio-temporal variation of particulate matter (PM2. 5) concentrations and its health impacts in a mega city, Delhi in India. Environmental health insights, 12, 1178630218792861.
Husar, R.B., Husar, J.D., & Martin, L. (2000). Distribution of continental surface aerosol extinction based on visual range data. Atmospheric Environment, 34(29-30), 5067-5078.
Hassan, S.F. (2018). Modeling Infrastructure Maintenance Contracts in a Geospatial Database.
Hessl, A., Miller, J., Kernan, J., Keenum, D., & McKenzie, D. (2007). Mapping paleo-fire boundaries from binary point data: comparing interpolation methods. The Professional Geographer, 59(1), 87-104.
Huang, F., Liu, D., Tan, X., Wang, J., Chen, Y., & He, B. (2011). Explorations of the implementation of a parallel IDW interpolation algorithm in a Linux cluster-based parallel GIS. Computers & Geosciences, 37(4), 426-434.
Jassim, S.Z., & Goff, J.C. (2006). Geology of Iraq: DOLIN, sro, distributed by Geological Society of London.
Kampa, M., & Castanas, E. (2008). Human health effects of air pollution. Environmental pollution, 151(2), 362-367.
Kiai, C., Kanali, C., Sang, J., & Gatari, M. (2021). Spatial Extent and Distribution of Ambient Airborne Particulate Matter (PM2. 5) in Selected Land Use Sites in Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of Environmental and Public Health.
Li, J., Han, X., Jin, M., Zhang, X., & Wang, S. (2019). Globally analyzing spatiotemporal trends of anthropogenic PM2.5 concentration and population's PM2. 5 exposure from 1998 to 2016. Environment international, 128, 46-62.
World Health Organization (2006). Air quality guidelines: global update 2005: particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide: World Health Organization.
Pöschl, U. (2005). Atmospheric aerosols: composition, transformation, climate and health effects. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 44(46), 7520-7540.
Pope III, C.A., Burnett, R.T., Turner, M.C., Cohen, A., Krewski, D., Jerrett, M., Gapstur, S.M., & Thun, M.J. (2011). Lung cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality associated with ambient air pollution and cigarette smoke: shape of the exposure–response relationships. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(11), 1616-1621.
Reimann, C., Filzmoser, P., Garrett, R., & Dutter, R. (2011). Statistical Data Analysis Explained: Applied Environmental Statistics with R: John Wiley & Sons.
Robinson, T., & Metternicht, G. (2003). A comparison of inverse distance weighting and ordinary kriging for characterising within-paddock spatial variability of soil properties in Western Australia. Cartography, 32(1), 11-24.
Sánka, O. (2015). Use of Geographic Information System in Environmental Science. PhD thesis, Masarykova univerzita, Prırodovedecká fakulta.
Thurston, G.D., Burnett, R.T., Turner, M.C., Shi, Y., Krewski, D., Lall, R. & Diver, W.R. (2016). Ischemic heart disease mortality and long-term exposure to source-related components of US fine particle air pollution. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124(6), 785-794.
Wang, J., Xie, X., & Fang, C. (2019). Temporal and spatial distribution characteristics of atmospheric particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) in Changchun and analysis of its influencing factors. Atmosphere, 10(11), 651.
Wark, K., & Warner, C.F. (1981). Air pollution: its origin and control.
Welburn, A. (1988). Air Pollution and Acid Rain: the Biological Impact: Longman Scientific & Technical.
Wid, M.S., Yaseen K.A. & Al-Jiboori M.H. (2022). Correlation coefficient analysis between PM2.5 concentrations and some meteorological parameters in Iraq, accepted by Iraqi Journal of Agriculture, 55(4).
Zubkova, G. (2003). Analysis of Ambient Fine Particulate Matter, PM 2.5, in Pittsburgh Using Time-Series Techniques and Meteorology. Ohio University.