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 Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta

nachricht Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>