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 Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

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: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores

24.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Synthetic nanoparticles achieve the complexity of protein molecules

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

PPPL physicist uncovers clues to mechanism behind magnetic reconnection

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>