Title: Assessment of Air Pollution in Different World Regions
Authors: DENTENER FranciscusKELLEHER Eimear
Citation: The EGGS - EGU Newsletter no. 24
Publisher: European Geophysical Union
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC47223
URI: http://www.the-eggs.org/articles.php?id=119#
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Climate Change (CC) and Air pollution (AP) are intimately linked through emissions from common sources, primarily those related to the use of fossil fuels. The Climate Change Unit (Institute for Environment and Sustainability), which is part of the Joint Research Centre based in Ispra, Northern Italy, performs scientific research on the linkages between air pollution and climate change to make policy makers aware of potential synergies and trade-offs that are imposed by the way the atmosphere and the climate system work. CCU focuses on a number of world regions such as the Mediterranean, China, Russia, India where AP and CC are different priorities for policy makers. It will provide the European Commission and EU negotiators with comparative assessments of (present day) air pollution and its impact on climate in these regions. The CCU uses models, ground- and space-based monitoring systems to produce its assessments. For instance the JRC global chemistry transport model TM5 is used to assess the impact of air pollution emissions on ozone and particulate matter concentrations worldwide. Likewise the ECHAM-HAM climate model is used to provide assessments of the climate impacts of sector and region based emission reduction strategies on climate. The CCU operates the EMEP superstation in Ispra, measuring long term records of air pollutants and climate gases. A new high-tech instrument employed at JRC linking pollution by aerosol and the climate effect of the same aerosol is a so-called aerosol lidar, that can measure vertical profiles of aerosol upto 10 km altitude. Ispra is the only station in Southern Europe with such a complete set of measurements to characterize changes in the atmosphere. Recently, CCU has installed measurement equipment on the cruise ship ¿Costa Magica¿, with frequently cruises around the Mediterranean Ocean. Preliminary results indicate that concentrations of air pollution (ozone and aerosols) are high over the Mediterranean, and thus provide high ¿background¿ concentrations on top of which countries and regions in the Mediterranean add their local pollution, which leads to frequent exceedances of air pollution regulations. The CCU also plays a leading role in bringing the worlds¿ scientific community to perform common model studies (e.g. AEROCOM, PhotoComp, and recently the work for the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Airpollution) and collecting and harmonizing measurements (e.g. the JRC WMO-GAW database), in order to improve the common scientific understanding that is input to policy making. To support the fourth assessment report of IPCC the JRC, together with scientists of the ACCENT Network of Excellence, organized an international comparison of global atmospheric models to calculate the effects of air pollution emission reduction strategies for a range of environmental issues. Fig. 1a shows the average results of about 25 models in predicting current ozone, Fig 1b ozone in the year 2030 evaluating the effects of currently decided world-wide emission reductions, and Fig 1c the emission reductions achieved when all currently available technologies would be used to achieve a better air quality. The uncertainties of these predictions are large at the regional level. This uncertainty range, and the sparcity of existing measurements of ozone over the Mediterranean region motivated JRC to start measurements over the Mediterranean sea, by installing a set of measurement devices for ozone and particles on the cruise ship Costa Fortuna. The policies that these activities support are the the EU post-Kyoto Climate Change Policy, the EU transboundary air pollution policy, the UN convention on long range transport of transboundary air pollution and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change / IPCC.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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