Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Network of scientists is driving force in EU air pollution policy

04.12.2003


Atmospheric protection is a big challenge for the 21st century. In teaching scientists to design outputs that become the stuff of hard policy, the impact of EUROTRAC-2 is far-reaching.

Nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and aerosols, major contributors to atmospheric pollution, do not respect national borders. But thanks to EUREKA project E! 1489 EUROTRAC-2, the EU’s largest ever study on atmospheric pollution, we know much more about where such pollutants were created, under what chemical disguises they travel and their human and environmental health consequences.

EUROTRAC-2 marked the second phase of the original EUROTRAC research initiative, which started 15 years ago and was among the first projects sponsored by EUREKA. This second phase involved over 300 research groups in 14 sub-projects, generating 900 scientific papers, more than 100 PhD theses and vastly expanding our collective knowledge bank.



The 25 countries involved in EUROTRAC-2 overcame scientific and language boundaries to study the many types of air pollution - from the particles flying off car tyres to the movement of clouds of pollutants 18 kilometres above the earth.

This hard evidence is helping to defeat scientific uncertainty, a huge barrier to political attempts to moderate global air pollution. With a clear remit to connect science to policy making, EUROTRAC-2 research is directly shaping negotiations to update the 1996 EU Air Quality Framework Directive and related legislation.

“Transboundary pollution is politically delicate, so the negotiators need a firm scientific platform,” says Dr Pauline Midgley of the National Research Centre for Environment and Health (GSF), Germany, who co-ordinated the project. “The major advance of EUROTRAC-2 was to promote truly interdisciplinary research, and I believe the results will heavily influence EU legislation. Air pollution is a continent-wide issue, and EUREKA helped scientists in Central and Eastern Europe to receive funds they may otherwise have had difficulty finding.”

Connecting science with policy

One of the sub-projects, SATURN, may help city dwellers breathe easier through its in-depth study on urban pollution in parking lots and between buildings.

Researchers used wind tunnels to study how air flows over different shapes of buildings. Finding that air pollutants concentrate within the turbulence created by some designs, SATURN concluded that existing air sampling is inadequate. “You can get different patterns of pollutants on different sides of a street,” says Nicolas Moussiopoulos from the Aristotle University in Greece. In future, city planners may be obliged to consider pollution ‘hot spots’ before building.

Other examples of sub-projects are TROPOSAT, which was partially funded by the European Space Agency and used its satellite data to track regional pollutant drifts, and EXPORT-2, which monitored the global transport of pollution.

EUROTRAC-2 is now complete, but this continent-wide network intends to continue with new funding under the EU’s 6th Framework Programme.

Nicola Vatthauer | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be/success-stories

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Understanding animal social networks can aid wildlife conservation
23.06.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>