Friday, November 4, 2011

The Application of Air Quality Models in Europe

The application of models under the European Union's Air Quality Directive: A technical reference guide (76 page pdf, European Environment Agency, Sep. 2011)

Also discussed here: The Forum for Air Quality Modelling (FAIRMODE)

And here: FAIRMODE: Forthcoming policy needs - EU Air Policy Review (21 slide PowerPoint, Joachim D’Eugenio, FAIRMODE, Aug. 8, 2011)
Today’s focus is on the application of air quality models in Europe, noting the limitations and benefits of models in combination with ground-based or space-based monitors. There are several very useful tables showing the policy standards for a range of air pollutants for various applications and scales.

Key Quotes:

“In May 2008, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a new consolidated European Union (EU) Directive on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe.. the new AQ Directive encourages the use of AQ models in combination with monitoring in a range of applications”

“Modelling is also used extensively in air quality forecasts, providing next-day and near real‑time information to the public and for the implementation of short-term action plans….required in the AQ Directive when concentrations exceed, or are expected to exceed, alert and information thresholds”

“Assessment should occur at sites where the concentrations are highest, …in regard to the positioning of traffic sites .. these 'shall be at least 25 m from the edge of major junctions and no more than 10 m from the kerbside..For industrial areas, concentrations should be representative of a 250 x 250 m2 area; for traffic emissions, the assessment should be representative for a 100-m street segment”

“On a daily basis, Member States are obliged to inform the public first and foremost of any exceedances of the information and alert thresholds..These exceedances will generally be based on monitoring”
  • information on observed exceedance(s);
  • information on the forecast for the following afternoon/day(s), including the geographical area of expected exceedances and the expected trends in the air pollution;
  • information on the type of population concerned, possible health effects and recommended behaviour;
  • information on preventive action to reduce pollution and/or exposure.
“models are used for the following activities:
  • identifying source contributions from within the zone;
  • identifying transboundary or long-range source contributions external to the zone;
  • calculating changes in concentrations as a result of different emission scenarios;
  • calculating the population exposure, and its changes, under different emission scenarios.
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