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Impact of weather conditions on winter and summer air quality


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The impact of major meteorological elements on the concentration of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and ozone in the extreme conditions of winter and summertime was determined. It was observed that weather conditions significantly contributed to elevated concentrations of the all analyzed pollutants.The impact of thewintertimeweatherwasmost pronounced in southern Poland,whereas in the summer - also in the central and NE parts of Poland. The adverse conditions of anticyclone weather observed in January 2006 had a stronger effect on the concentrations of gaseous pollutants, whereas in July - on tropospheric ozone and particulate matter. Air quality primarily depended on air temperature and wind speed. Air temperature most often explained the variability of summertime ozone and particulate matter immission, aswell aswintertime sulfur dioxide.However, the role of wind speed as a dispersing factor most affected nitrogen dioxide immissions in both seasons, and particulate matter during the winter.
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A b s t r a c t. The impact of major meteorological elements on
the concentration of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate
matter, and ozone in the extreme conditions of winter and summer-
time was determined.It was observed that weather conditions sig-
nificantly contributed to elevated concentrations of the all analyzed
pollutants. The impactof the wintertime weather was most pronoun-
ced in southern Poland, whereas in the summer – also in the central and
NE parts of Poland. The adverse conditions of anticyclone weather
observed in January 2006 had a stronger effect on the concentra-
tions of gaseous pollutants, whereas in July – on tropospheric ozo-
ne and particulate matter. Air quality primarily depended on air
temperature and wind speed. Air temperature most often explained
the variability of summertime ozone and particulate matter immis-
sion, as well as wintertime sulfur dioxide. However, the role of wind
speed as a dispersing factor most affected nitrogen dioxide im-
missions in both seasons, and particulate matter during the winter.
K e y w o r d s: season weather conditions, gaseous pollutants,
Air quality is determined not only by the amount of
emissions, but also by current and preceding meteorological
conditions. The effect of weather on dispersion of gases and
particulate matter (PM10), and on their deposition within the
ground layer of air, has been demonstrated in a number of
studies (Czarnecka and Nidzgorska-Lencewicz, 2008; Elminir,
2005; Jacob and Winner, 2009; Malek et al., 2006). Episodes
of sudden intense air pollution, referred to as smog, which
occur within large urban agglomerations and industrial areas,
pose a serious threat to human health. The negative impact
of high pollutant concentration on environment has been
thoroughly studied and widely documented (Amann et al.,
2008; Filleul et al., 2006; Fischer et al., 2004; Stedman,
2004; WHO, 2006). In August 2003, a very high level oftropo-
spheric ozone (O3) was recorded across Europe(Solberg et al.,
2008), which, in conjunction with other pollutants and a heat
wave, resulted in a considerable increase in mortality.
Filleul et al. (2006) demonstrated that between the 3rd and
the 17th of August 2003, the risk of death due to high 8 h
concentrations of O3in connection with high temperatures
increasedfrom10.6%in LeHavre to174.7%in Paris.
The so-called black smog occurring in winter and the
photochemical smog observed in spring and summer are both
correlated with anticyclone weather, vertical thermal structu-
re of the atmospheric boundary layer, and the type of circula-
tion (God³owska, 2004; Malek et al., 2006; NiedŸwiedŸ and
Ustrnul, 1989; Walczewski, 1997). Topography that ham-
pers natural air circulation of a city, can contribute to the
rise, buildup, and duration of smog episodes. Tall, tightly-
packed buildings present an additional barrier to the disper-
sion of pollutants in metropolitan areas (Xie et al., 2005).
Because air pollution is affecting an increasing number of
people worldwide, especially in urban areas, continuous air
quality monitoring is a necessity. Forecasting is also impor-
tant since it enables early warning of high pollution levels
and allows more time to prepare and reduce exposure (Krupa
et al., 2003; Ma et al., 2004; Schicker and Seibert, 2009;
Walczewski, 1997). During the winter and summer of 2006,
extreme weather conditions in Poland led to an increase in
The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of major
meteorological parameters on elevated and limit-exceeding
ReceivedJune22,2010;acceptedSeptember2, 2010
*Corresponding author’s
This study was based on data recorded by the automatic
air quality monitoring system of National Environment
Monitoring. The data comprised hourly concentrations of
sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), PM10, and
O3, collected during winter (December 2005 to February
2006) and summer (June to August 2006) from immission
stations operating in 12 places of Poland (Fig. 1). The primary
selection criterion for a station was the completeness of
measuring immissions and meteorological data. All of the
stations are located in urban area. The meteorological data
collected by automatic stations located near the immission sta-
tions included total radiation, air temperature, atmospheric
pressure, relative air humidity, and wind velocity. Hourly
and daily concentrations of the analyzed air pollutants were
The effects of these meteorological parameters on the
concentrations of the analyzed pollutants were estimated
using correlation analysis, as well as, single and multiple re-
gression, including stepwise analysis. The analysis was per-
formedatsignificancelevelsof a=0.05and a=0.01.
In 2006, the mean annual temperature in Poland was
0.8ºC higher than the long-term average, and the annual
precipitation was approx. 96% of the average for the period
between 1971 and 2000 (Bulletin, 2006). However, both
thermal patterns and precipitation demonstrated very strong
fluctuations between the seasons and between consecutive
months. The greatest difference in weather was between
winter and summer, and, in particular, between January and
July. In terms of temperature and precipitation, January and
July clearly deviated from their respective monthly means of
previous years (Fig. 2). Most days in January the weather
was characterized by an extensive Russian high pressure
area which brought mass amounts of frosty, dry air to Poland.
The mean temperature for the month typically ranged from
-4 to -8.5ºC and was more than 5ºC lower than the long-term
average in the majority of cities. July was extremely hot and
dry. The mean temperature for July in whole Poland ranged
from 21 to 25ºC, which exceeded the average by 3 to 6ºC.
Precipitation in July 2006 was merely 25% of the long term
average. In both months, under anticyclone weather condi-
tions, the mean monthly wind speed in the urban areas did
not exceed 1.5 m s-1, which considerably reduced natural
Due to severe frosts in January 2006, an increase in the
use of heaters occurred in urban and residential areas. Poor
air circulation in these areas resulted in considerably higher
immission of the main pollutants, especially in southern
Poland. The mean monthly concentrations of SO2ranged
between 15 and 50 µg m-3, while concentrations of PM10
usually ranged between 50 and 150 µg m-3. The highest
mean concentrations of SO2and NO2was recorded in the
D¹browa Górnicza, while PM10 was highest near Kraków.
In January 2006, mean monthly concentrations of SO2were
twice as high, and PM10 were three times higher then the
averages for 1993 to 2002 (Czarnecka and Kalbarczyk, 2004),
and still much higher compared with adjacent years (Fig. 3).
Air quality across the country fell well below standards,
especially regarding the 24 h concentrations of PM10. The
highest daily PM10 concentrations were recorded in the last
ten days of January. In northern Poland (Szczecin, Gdañsk),
the concentrations of PM10 were six times that of the ac-
ceptable 24 h limit, and in the south (Kraków), more than ten
times (Fig. 4). In most of the analyzed cities, alarm levels of
concentrations were exceeded, meaning the mean hourly
Fig. 1. Location of urban immission stations considered in the
2005 2006 2007 2008 2005 2006 2007 2008
2005 2006 2007 2008 2005 2006 2007 2008
P (mm)
T (C)
T (C)
P (mm)
Fig. 2. Air temperature (T) and total precipitation (P) in January
andJulyin Szczecin andKrakówduring2005-2008.
values were exceeded by 2 to 13 days (Fig. 5). These anoma-
lies were the most frequent in Kraków, where the hourly
PM10 concentrations on January 17, 25, and 27 of reached
505, 592, and 507 ìg m-3, respectively. These concentra-
tions exceeded the maximum smog episode concentrations
for January 2006 by 100 to nearly 200 ìg m-3 (Mira-Salama
In July 2006, the level of PM10 dust was considerably
elevated compared to previous years. O3levels were also
high, but they did not differ much from O3levels in 2005
(Fig. 6). Nevertheless, immission levels of all pollutants
oscillated below the allowable threshold. Only in Jelenia
Góra, D¹browa Górnicza, and Radom, did the hourly O3con-
centrations exceed the level of 180 ìg m-3, on 20-21 July,
which, according to the alarm rule, requires that the public
The impact of weather conditions on the variability of
pollutant levels in 2006 was demonstrated using the coeffi-
cients of determination, in most cases statistically signifi-
cant at a= 0.01 (Table 1). Over the entire country, and in
both winter and summer, the coefficients ranged between 10
and 30%, reaching, however, much higher values in most
cities. The impact of the 2005/2006 winter weather was
slightly stronger in relation to the immission of PM10 and
SO2, and weaker in relation to NO2(Table 1). In most of the
cities, the role of inclement weather in the pattern of changes
in pollutant immission was more apparent in January than in
the overall winter of 2005/2006, particularly in relation to
NO2. The impact of the winter weather conditions was most
apparent in southern Poland. The highest coefficients of de-
termination for SO2and PM10, approx. 83 and 70%, respec-
tively, for January were recorded in Radom. On the other
hand, the impact of weather on NO2immission changes was
most evident within the local topography of Jelenia Góra,
2005 2006 2007 2008
2005 2006 2007 2008
SO (µg m )
PM10 (µg m )
2005 2006 2007 2008
2005 2006 2007 2008
winter January
Fig. 3. Mean concentrations of particulate matter (PM10) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) during wintertime of 2005-2008 in Szczecin and
1 4 7 10 13 16 19 22 25 28 31
PM10 (µg·m-3)
Szczec in Krak ów
st anda rd
Fig. 4. Mean 24 h concentrations of particulate matter (PM10) in
January 2006in selectedcitiesof Poland.
Fig. 5. Number of days in January 2006 when alarm (hourly) levels
The meteorological conditions of summer 2006 best
described the variability of O3and PM10 concentrations,
and were much less responsible for the levels of NO2. In many
cities, however, the adverse effect of weather on NO2
immission was most pronounced in July. Extremely high
July coefficients of determination, as compared with the
entire summer, were observed in Olsztyn, Radom, and
Rzeszów. The most apparent effect of weather on tropo-
spheric O3concentrations (R2~ 70%) was demonstrated in
£ódŸ and Jelenia Góra. However, in D¹browa Górnicza the
relationship between the weather and PM10, as well as NO2,
was the strongest. In general, the variability of PM10 con-
centrations depended on bad weather conditions stronger in
the summer of 2006 than in the winter; however, the para-
meter varied between regions and, in some of the cities, the
2005 2006 2007 2008
O (µg m )
2005 2006 2007 2008
2005 2006 2007 2008
PM10 (µg m )
summer July
2005 2006 2007 2008
Fig.6. Meanconcentrationsofparticulatematter(PM10)andozone(O3)duringsummertimeof2005-2008in Szczecin andKraków.
2005/2006 2006
winter January winter January winter January summer July summer July summer July
Szczecin 40.5 44.7 38.8 54.2 52.1 52.5 56.3 42.9 20.9 n.s. 53.7 11.6
Gdañsk 51.2 53.4 33.6 48.9 33.2 36.8 28.5 22.9 13.3 29.2 34.2 56.2
Olsztyn 26.4 40.0 22.5 39.3 35.2 15.3 25.6 35.3 9.8 56.5 46.1 55.5
Warszawa 26.9 21.9 38.4 53.5 45.6 48.2 58.8 42.2 27.1 28.4 49.9 71.3
£ódŸ 29.4 32.7 26.8 49.6 40.6 51.1 72.5 68.8 14.6 31.4 59.3 43.8
Poznañ 10.9 25.8 5.0 38.8 5.3 36.5 63.7 54.2 18.7 20.2 42.7 37.3
Góra 63.8 67.4 52.4 70.7 45.2 49.0 54.7 70.8 23.4 34.6 48.3 41.4
Opole 33.6 17.1 38.4 46.2 29.7 25.3 * * 18.2 28.5 50.6 52.0
Górnicza 50.8 43.8 41.6 57.2 45.7 49.6 50.4 42.8 50.3 61.4 73.0 74.8
Kraków 41.5 19.7 37.6 41.5 57.0 49.7 * * 9.7 33.7 44.4 n.s.
Radom 68.5 83.4 46.7 68.8 57.0 69.6 61.0 46.6 4.7 33.1 64.4 74.5
Rzeszów 45.1 75.9 25.3 53.8 54.4 64.0 * * 15.5 40.9 22.0 n.s.
Poland 23.7 16.0 24.5 22.7 33.7 28.7 * 32.0 7.8 12.8 32.0 18.6
*lackofdata,n.s.–nonsignificantrelationshipsat a=0.05.
T a b l e 1. Coefficients of determination (%) for the relationship between SO2, NO2, PM10 (2005/2006) and O3, NO2, PM10 (2006)
concentrations versus nominatedmeteorologicalcomponents
The air quality in Poland during winter and summer
2006 depended mostly on air temperature and wind speed.
The role of these factors in the variability of immission, as
expressed by the coefficient of partial determination,
differed depending on the type of pollution and the season
(Fig. 7). In the winter, SO2immission was primarily deter-
mined by air temperature, whereas NO2was most affected
by wind speed. The most similar coefficients of partial de-
termination for both meteorological components were esti-
mated for PM10 dust; during the entire winter, air tempera-
ture was more important in explaining its concentrations,
and wind speed in January alone. An increase in the
concentrations of O3and NO2in July 2006 was in large part
due to air thermal conditions. Air temperature and wind speed
played an important role in the pattern changes of PM10
particulate matter immission. In July, the impact of both was
nearly the same, while if we look over the entire summer
period, air temperature was the main factor underlying the
Adverse weather conditions that significantly influen-
ced the levels and variability of SO2, NO2, and PM10 con-
centrations in selected cities of Poland in 2006 most often
represented two meteorological components at a time, nomi-
nated using the stepwise procedure of regression analysis.
Air temperature and wind speed were most frequently nomi-
nated, similar as in the scope of the entire country; however,
also relative humidity, pressure, and total radiation represen-
ted the variables accounting for the magnitude of immission
(Fig. 8). These elements are commonly named in the literature
as major factors that lead to air quality deterioration, also in
different climatic zones. The role of thermal conditions as
the main factor increasing the emission and, in consequence,
the immission of major wintertime pollutants, in association
with anemometric conditions, was demonstrated by many
authors, including God³owska (2004), Majewski and Prze-
woŸniczuk (2006), Malek et al. (2006), Mira-Salama et al.
(2008), Schicker and Seibert (2009), usually basing on a de-
tailed analysis of occurrence of certain smog episodes or their
models. Air temperature and wind speed are also used for
describing and forecasting high O3levels (Baran et al., 1999;
Palacios et al., 2004).
The effect of temperature on pollution levels depended
ontheseason. In winter,temperatureincreaseresultedina drop
in the immission of all pollutants, whereas in summer, it con-
tributed to an increase. Wind speed always positively in-
fluenced air quality, and even under anticyclonic weather
conditions, regardless of the wind direction, the ventilation
function of wind was apparent. Interestingly, total radiation
frequently (>20% of cases) explained radiation and thermal
conditions which deteriorate air quality. In the summer,
however, such conditions were reflected only by the 24 h
mean air temperature. Temperature was the most important
variable explaining the flux in O3concentrations, which
agreed with the results of Gzella and ZwoŸdziak (2003),
Air temperature most often accounted for the variability
of O3and PM10 immission in summer, and, in July, in 80%
of the cases. In winter, thermal conditions were the main
factor explaining SO2concentration variability. In regres-
sion equations, which described immission of NO2and
PM10, wind speed most frequently explained variability.
Moreover, wind speed most often determined NO2concen-
trations during the summer. An increase in relative air humi-
dity contributed to reduced immissions of all the analyzed
pollutants during the winter. However, humidity most fre-
quently ie in about 40% of the cases, significantly explained
Fig. 7. Coefficients of partial determination (%) of meteorolo-
gical components affecting the variability of pollutant concentra-
tions during the winter and summer 2006 in the scope of the entire
Fig. 8. Frequency of meteorological components (%) accounting
for the concentration variability of the analyzed pollutants in the
1. The meteorological conditions during winter and
summer 2006, especially in January and July, were the
fundamental cause underlying air quality decline in urban
areas of Poland. During the winter of 2005/2006, the
weather had the strongest impact on air quality in the cities
of southern Poland; in summer 2006, also in the central and
2. Adverse anticyclonic weather in January 2006 had
a strong impact on the concentrations of gaseous pollutants
ie NO2and SO2, and in July, on tropospheric O3and PM10.
3. The air quality in 2006 was determined mainly by air
temperature and wind velocity. Air temperature most often
accounted for the variability of O3and PM10 particulate
matter immission during the summer, and SO2during the
winter. However, concentrations of NO2in both seasons,
and PM10 in the winter, were determined primarily by
wind speed.
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... Further analysis was conducted separately for those two groups in order to study the performance of the modeled air temperature forecast in relation to local environmental conditions. The stations/measurement points represented the main types of relief of the Polish Western Carpathians: high mountains (8); areas at the foot of high mountains (7,14); mountain tops in the Beskidy Mts. (10, 12, 15, and 17); valley bottoms in the Beskidy Mts. ...
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Prediction of spatial and temporal variability of air temperature in areas with complex topography is still a challenge for numerical weather prediction models. Simulation of atmosphere over complex terrain requires dense and accurate horizontal and vertical grids. In this study, verification results of three configurations of the Aire Limitée Adaptation Dynamique Développement International High-Resolution Limited Area Model (ALADIN-HIRLAM) numerical weather prediction (NWP) system, using two different horizontal and vertical resolutions and applied to the Polish Western Carpathian Mountains, are presented. One model of the ALADIN-HIRLAM NWP system is tested in two horizontal and vertical resolutions. Predicted air temperatures are compared with observations from stations located in different orographies. A comparison of model results with observations was conducted for three cold season intervals in 2017 and 2018. Statistical validation of model output demonstrates better model representativeness for stations located on hill and mountain tops compared to locations in valley bottoms. A comparison of results for two topography representations (2 × 2 km and 1 × 1 km) showed no statistically significant differences of root mean square error (RMSE) and bias between model results and observations.
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Air pollution is a significant concern in this era. Pollutants released in large quantities can cause environmental damage and human health problems. The existing monitoring systems are highly precise and sensitive, but they require high laboratory analysis and operational costs. To overcome these problems, an air quality monitoring system is proposed as an alternative solution that can complement the current system. This study aimed to design an inexpensive air quality monitoring system using metal oxide sensors to measure the concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (PM) using laser diffraction, microcontroller, and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) module. The Air Quality IPB Monitoring System (AQIMoS) is powered by a rechargeable battery that is supplied by either a solar panel or AC power supply. AQIMoS is equipped with an information system, namely, a server and a graphical user interface, to receive data, calculate the air pollutant standard index (ISPU), and access data. This study also developed an algorithm to reduce packet loss in cellular network-based transmissions. This algorithm allows AQIMoS to perform repeated data transmissions and extend response waiting times according to a received signal strength indicator (RSSI). The test results show that the developed algorithm can reduce packet loss by 9.8–11.6 % in medium/bad conditions (MB, signal < 50%). The AQIMoS test was carried out in a traffic-heavy area about 2 km from Atang Senjaya Airport with moderate air quality.
The problem of air quality in Warsaw is related with the emission of pollutants from combustion of coal or natural gas in winter and it is a different situation than in other capitals in EU, where transportation is the main source of pollution to the air. In Warsaw, the impact of traffic emission on air quality is clearly visible in the warm season of the year. Therefore, it is important to analyse and establish the causes (indication of sources) of high concentrations of ozone and the associated meteorological conditions, and then at a later stage purpose actions to reduce them. This work analyses the temporal variation of ozone and its precursors, the main traffic pollutants in the studied area, and investigates the relationship between meteorological parameters and urban air pollutants, using various statistical methods. For selected smog episodes during heat waves, backward trajectories have been completed to identify potential sources of pollution inflow. The traffic emission has the greatest share in the variance of the system, which in the case of night-time data analysis equal to 30.7%, 27.1% for the daytime of measurement and 23.6% for the entire period. This episodes of high ozone concentration were predominantly due to local photochemistry because all the meteorological conditions were conducive for ozone formation particularly during daytime.
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Air pollution episode, which are periods with excessive air pollutants, can cause a sharp increase in mortality and morbidity. Nitrogen oxides have an adverse impact on human health and the environment. Previous studies mainly focus on the time period, the frequency, and the duration of heavy NO2 pollution, while ignored its spatial extent which is pivotal in providing early warning and prediction. In this study, we investigated the spatiotemporal variation of the heavy NO2 pollution extent (i.e., heavy pollution center), analyzed its association with meteorological condition and further predicted its distribution in the future. A case study in Jing-Jin-Ji (JJJ), Yangtze River Delta (YRD) and Pearl River Delta (PRD) urban agglomerations showed that the HPC exhibited evident seasonal (winter > summer) and inter-city (mega and medium cities > small cities) differences. In concretion analysis, the HPC areas were negatively correlated with temperature and precipitation, suggesting that dry and cold meteorological conditions were responsible for the severe NO2 pollution events. Trend analysis showed that the small and medium cities may serve as the HPC in the future. During the 2005–2016, the medium and small cities in JJJ experience a more rapid increase in NO2 concentration in comparison to mega cities. Meanwhile, in YRD and PRD, a more rapid decrease was witnessed in the mega cities. The results of this study would provide support for early warning and prediction of heavy air pollutants and offer scientific insights for air pollution episode management.
Four years (2008-2011) of air quality observations are investigated near Łódź, central Poland. Despite reduced industrialisation in the region since around 1990, peak hourly PM10 (PM2.5) occasionally exceeded 400 (300) µg m/3 in the ‘heating season’ (Oct-Mar), attributable to a combination of ‘imported’ pollution and local traffic-related and domestic sources. High heating season emissions caused annual-mean PM10 and PM2.5 values of 33.6 and 21.1 µg m/3 (13.6 and 11.1 µg m/3, respectively, above the WHO guidelines), with daily mean PM10 exceeding the WHO guideline of 50 µg m/3 56 times a year. An approach is outlined by which urban air quality can be more directly related to local meteorology by separate consideration of atmospheric stability on diurnal, synoptic and seasonal timescales. Newly developed radon-based techniques for classification of diurnal and synoptic timescale changes in stability are adapted for use in this study. Daily PM10 and PM2.5 exceeded WHO guidelines for only two of six mixing state categories: (i) strong persistent synoptic inversion conditions, associated with lingering anti-cyclonic systems in the non-summer months (comprising ≤15% of heating season months), and (ii) fine-weather conditions conducive to the formation of strongly stable nocturnal boundary layers (15-20% of heating season months). Both mixing states were associated with low mean wind speeds (1-1.5 m s-1), near-surface temperature gradients of 1-2 deg_C m/1, shallow nocturnal boundary layers (45-55m), and south-easterly winds. Radon-based stability “class-typing” is shown to constitute a convenient, consistent, objective and economical means by which to relate local meteorological conditions to air quality in complex urban environments. It also provides a statistically-robust method of retrospectively relating exposure to poor air quality to likely health implications.
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Ozone is a highly oxidative compound formed in the lower atmosphere from gases (originating to a large extent from anthropogenic sources) by photochemistry driven by solar radiation. Owing to its highly reactive chemical properties, ozone is harmful to vegetation, materials and human health. In the troposphere, ozone is also an efficient greenhouse gas. This report summarizes the results of a multidisciplinary analysis aiming to assess the effects of ozone on health. The analysis indicates that ozone pollution affects the health of most of the populations of Europe, leading to a wide range of health problems. The effects include some 21 000 premature deaths annually in 25 European Union countries on and after days with high ozone levels. Current policies are insufficient to significantly reduce ozone levels in Europe and their impact in the next decade
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This paper presents a study to determine the areas that could most probably be affected by high ozone levels in the centre of the Iberian Peninsula. Considering the years 1992 and 1995, cluster analysis was applied to some variables to group those days with similar meteorological states. Three different meteorological cluster groups were identified and their main features analysed. Additionally, wind direction was used to set up representative subclusters. Finally, representatives to the mean state of every subcluster scenarios were selected. Among these, several days were chosen to represent meteorological conditions that could most probably be associated to photochemical episodes and simulations with the TVM meteorological model coupled to a transport-chemistry module were carried out. Results show very high ozone production levels for some days. Thus, four impact areas could be identified, located both tens of kilometres away far from the city (in N, NW and E directions) or affecting the whole community of Madrid.
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A state-of-the-art numerical non-hydrostatic model is applied to simulate meteorological conditions during a winter smog episode in a large Alpine valley. This case study illustrates what such models are capable of and where there are limitations. The PSU/NCAR mesoscale model known as MM5, version 3.7, is used to simulate the period 31 January 2004 until 9 February 2004, when elevated pollution levels were observed in the Inn Valley. The MM5 model was used with the modifications provided by G. Zängl and with two different boundary layer schemes. Simulation results of five different model runs are compared with wind and temperature observations in the valley, at mountain stations and outside the Alps. A comparison of the results of the runs using a resolution of 2.4 km in the innermost nest with a run with 0.8 km resolution shows that 2.4 km is insufficient for acceptable results, while with 0.8 km the characteristic features could be reproduced. This concerns mainly the temperature and stability inside the Inn Valley whereas conditions in the Alpine foreland are simulated reasonably even at the coarser resolution.
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Measurements of ozone and other trace species in the European EMEP network in 2003 are presented. The European summer of 2003 was exceptionally warm and the surface ozone data for central Europe show the highest values since the end of the 1980s. The 99 percentiles of daily maximum hourly ozone concentrations in 2003 was higher than the corresponding parameter measured in any previous year at many sites in France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In this paper we argue that a number of positive feedback effects between the weather conditions and ozone contributed to the elevated surface ozone. Firstly we calculated an extended residence time of air parcels in the atmospheric boundary layer for several sites in central Europe. Secondly we show that it is likely that extensive forest fires on the Iberian Peninsula, resulting from the drought and heat, contributed to the peak ozone values in North Europe in August. Thirdly, regional scale model calculations indicate that biogenic isoprene could have contributed with 20% of the peak ozone concentrations. Measurements indicate elevated concentrations of isoprene compared to previous years. Sensitivity runs with a global chemical transport model showed that a reduction in the surface dry deposition due to drought and the elevated air temperature both could have contributed significantly to the enhanced ozone concentrations. Due to climate change, situations like this may occur at a higher frequency in the future and may gradually overshadow the effect of reduced emissions from anthropogenic sources of VOC and NOx.
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Logan, Utah, USA, had the nation's worst air pollution on 15 January, 2004. The high concentration of PM2.5 (particulates smaller than 2.5 μm in diameter) in the air resulted from geographical, meteorological, and environmental aspects of Cache Valley. A strong inversion (increase of temperature with height) and light precipitation and/or wind were the major causes for trapping pollutants in the air. Other meteorological factors enhancing the inversion were: the prolonged high atmospheric surface pressure, a snow-covered surface which plunged temperatures to as low as − 23.6 °C on January 23rd and high reflection of solar radiation (up to about 80%), which caused less solar radiation absorption during the day throughout the most part of January 2004. Among non-meteorological factors are Cache Valley's small-basin geographical structure which traps air, with no big body of water to help the air circulation (as a result of differential heating and cooling rates for land and water), motor vehicle emissions, and existence of excess ammonia gas as a byproduct of livestock manure and urine. Concentration of PM2.5 was monitored in downtown Logan. On January 15, 2004, the 24-h, filter-based concentration reached about 132.5 μg per cubic meter of air, an astonishingly high value compared to the values of 65 μg m− 3 and over, indicating a health alert for everyone. These tiny particles in the air have an enormous impact on health, aggravating heart and lung disease, triggering asthma and even death. The causes of this inversion and some suggestions to alleviate the wintertime particle concentration in Cache Valley will be addressed in this article.
The objective of this study is to provide a simulation of emissions from vehicle exhausts in a street canyon within an urban environment. Standard, RNG and Chen–Kim k–ε turbulence models are compared with the wind tunnel measured data for optimization of turbulence model. In the first approach, the investigation is made into the effect of the different roof shapes and ambient building structures. The results indicate that the in-canyon vortex dynamics (e.g. vortex orientation) and the characteristics of pollutant dispersion are dependent on the roof shapes and ambient building structures strongly. A second set of calculations for a three-dimensional simulation of the street canyon setup was performed to investigate the influence of building geometry on pollutant dispersion. The validation of the numerical model was evaluated using an extensive experimental database obtained from the atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel at the Meteorological Institute of Hamburg University, Germany (Studie on different roof geometries in a simplified urban environment, 1995). The studies give evidence that roof shapes, the ambient building configurations and building geometries are important factors determining the flow patterns and pollutant dispersion in street canyon.
An intensive measurement of particulate matter and gaseous materials was made to assess the characteristics of wintertime atmospheric pollutants in an urban area of Kansai, Japan. Sampling was performed by a combination of filter pack sampler and low-pressure Andersen impactor (LPAI). Particle-induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and Thermal/Optical Reflectance (TOR®) methods were employed in analyzing element and carbon, respectively. The concentrations of SO2, NOx, and PM2.5 monitored during our intensive measurement show a strong time serial variation. PM2.5 levels are higher in the daytime with an average level of 21.3 μg m−3. Most of the peaks for NOx were regularly found in the morning throughout the campaign duration. The number concentration of particles larger than 0.3 μm appears dominated by the ultrafine particles ranged between 0.3 and 0.5 μm. The size distribution of elemental concentration as a function of water solubility was investigated. Organic carbon (OC) concentration shows the strong size distribution with the main peak formed in a range of 0.29–0.67 μm, while elemental carbon (EC) is principally enriched in a range of 0.12–0.29 μm ultra fine fraction. TC (OC+EC) fraction accounts for 42.5% and 26.2% of the mass concentration in fine particle fraction (<1.17 μm ) and coarse particle fraction (>1.17 μm), respectively. The simulated backward aerosol dispersion with the surface wind roses for three events of high PM2.5 mass concentration indicates that aerosol dispersions might be originated from the emission sources of Osaka and Shiga. Also the possibility of long-range transportation of fine particulate matter from the domestic areas of Japan, Taiwan, and Pacific Ocean was still raised. The result of factor analysis indicates that automobile exhaust, fossil fuel combustion, refuse incineration, iron industry, and soil originated particles contribute the major portion of PM2.5 in our sampling area.
There was a major heatwave across much of Europe in the first two weeks of August 2003, during which temperatures peaked at a new record of 38.5° C in the UK. The UK Office for National Statistics have reported an excess of 2045 deaths in England and Wales for period from 4 to 13 August 2003 above the 1998–2002 average for this time of year. Here we estimate, using previously established dose–response functions, that there were between 423 and 769 excess deaths in England and Wales during the first two weeks of August 2003 associated with the elevated ambient ozone and PM10 concentrations. This represents 21–38% of the total excess deaths. This has implications for the mitigation of the health effects of heatwave conditions. It reinforces the advice to the public on keeping cool, reducing exposure to outdoor air pollutants and indeed possible measures to reduce atmospheric pollution. The predictions presented here could be verified by conducting a specific epidemiological study of deaths during this heatwave.
Stable weather conditions together with extensive use of coal combustion often lead to severe smog episodes in certain urban environments, especially in Eastern Europe. In order to identify the specific sources that cause the smog episodes in such environments, and to better understand the mixing state and atmospheric processing of aerosols, both single particle and bulk chemical characterization analysis of aerosols were performed in Krakow, Poland, during winter 2005.Real-time measurements of the bulk PM10 aerosol during a severe smog episode (PM10 mass > 400 µg m− 3) showed a stable concentration of black carbon in the aerosol, and an increase in the sulphate and chlorine mass contributions towards the end of the episode. Chemical characterization of single particles further helped to identify residential coal burning as the main source that caused this severe smog episode, consisting of single particles with major signals for carbon with simultaneous absence of sulphate, chlorine and calcium. Particles from industrial coal combustion gained importance towards the end of that episode, after residential coal combustion was switched off, indicated by an increase of the percentage of sulphate and chlorine containing particles. Traffic was not a significant source during the severe smog episode. During a lighter smog episode, residential and industrial coal combustion was still predominant, with an increased contribution of traffic and processed/aged aerosols. On a clean day, particle classes containing nitrate were the most abundant. In addition, the aerosol was more internally mixed showing that there were more sources contributing to the total aerosol population.
In the Netherlands an excess of 1000–1400 deaths was estimated due to the hot temperatures that occurred during the 2003 summer period. We estimated the number of deaths attributable to the ozone and Particular Matter (PM10) concentrations in the summer period June–August 2003. Our calculations show that an excess of around 400–600 air pollution-related deaths may have occurred compared to an ‘average’ summer.These calculations suggest that in the Netherlands, a significant proportion of the deaths now being attributed to the hot summer weather can reasonably be expected to have been caused by air pollution.