Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Computer model helps combat air pollution across Europe

29.01.2003


The key role of multidisciplinary research in developing a landmark intergovernmental strategy to combat air pollution across Europe will be considered by Professor Helen ApSimon of Imperial College London in her inaugural lecture, A lot of Hot Air – Transboundary Air Pollution Over Europe.



The new Professor of Air Pollution Studies will focus on how her research using computer modelling of air pollution contributed to the formulation of the Gothenburg protocol under the United Nations’ Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.

“The UN’s Convention successfully addresses a complex combination of pollutants with wide ranging effects,” said Professor ApSimon, who is based in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology.


“It has contributed to the development of international environment regulations and has created the essential framework for controlling and reducing the damage to human health and the environment caused by transboundary air pollution.”

The Gothenburg protocol, introduced in 1999, calls for cuts in emissions from four major pollutants: sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and ammonia, by 2010, from their 1990 levels.

Once fully implemented, it is estimated the Protocol will reduce premature deaths resulting from ozone and particle matter exposure by approximately 47,000. The European treaty should also ensure over the next 15 years sulphur pollution from factories and power stations will drop to around 10 per cent of 1980 levels.

Working extensively over the past 12 years for Task Forces under the UN’s Convention, Professor ApSimon initially conducted independent modelling to analyse emission reduction strategies and develop cost effective solutions.

“By having an independent model we were able to examine many ‘what if’ scenarios and investigate assumptions and uncertainties,” said Professor ApSimon.

“We also did a lot of work on ammonia as a pollutant, for which the uncertainties were much greater. In this way we contributed to far more robust proposals for emission reductions as a basis for negotiation between member countries.”

Data collected from Professor ApSimon’s model was then collated with information yielded from the official UN model to create an ‘Integrated Assessment Model’. This created a fuller picture of potential emission reduction strategies by comparing the costs and benefits for different countries.

“Integrated assessment modelling integrates information on pollutant sources and emissions, the pattern of atmospheric transport of those emissions across Europe to affect sensitive ecosystems and the criteria for protecting these sensitive targets. From this information the models derive emission reductions across the different countries which meet targets for improved environmental protection at minimum cost,” explained Professor ApSimon.

“This approach is now being adopted enthusiastically by the European Commission, and I hope I will contribute to reaching agreement on other international pollution problems.”

Professor ApSimon added: “I feel honoured to have been appointed to this rank at Imperial College, and thankful to the wide range of people with whom I have worked with from very different scientific disciplines, who have helped me to achieve it.”

Judith H Moore | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Minimized water consumption in CSP plants - EU project MinWaterCSP is making good progress
05.12.2017 | Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum

nachricht Jena Experiment: Loss of species destroys ecosystems
28.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New research identifies how 3-D printed metals can be both strong and ductile

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

11.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

What makes corals sick?

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>