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First dataset of anthropogenic emissions for all relevant pollutants

RI-URBANS publishes the first anthropogenic emission dataset, covering road transport exhaust and non-exhaust emissions and the distribution over Europe and pilot cities. The dataset includes main air pollutants, as well as ultrafine particles. The RI-URBANS project has just published the first dataset of anthropogenic emissions, which has been made available to the project users. The emission inventory comprises both the main air pollutants included in CAMS-REG (CH4, CO, NH3, NMVOC, NOX, SO2, PM10 and PM2.5) as well as ultrafine particles, expressed as particle number emissions. The dataset also provides emissions at a spatial resolution of 6x6km2 over Europe, including the pilot cities. The dataset also includes non-exhaust vehicle particulate matter (those from the brake and tire wear) in the European Emission Inventory. These results can be used by modelers to show the spatial and temporal variability of the pollutants, improve exposure data, and perform sensitivity analyses to evaluate the effect of specific policy actions. Emissions of PM2.5 distributed in space at 6x6 km2 resolution over Europe. The main emission sources are small combustion (mainly residential heating), transport, and industry. Source: Jeroen Kuenen, Antoon Visschedijk, Dick Heslinga (TNO) Developed by the Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research (TNO), the spatially explicit emission inventory used by the air quality modellers at the European scale is enhanced by including improved estimates for road transportation. This makes the inventories for exhaust and for particulate matter from non-exhaust more accurate and consistent. The gridded emissions are now available on TNO's FTP site. To get access, the best option is to use a dedicated FTP client to transfer data after requesting access to TNO's contact point. Protocols and a contact person can be found in the corresponding Milestone M13 (M3.2): CHECK OUT THE DATASET  

By |2022-09-27T16:57:42+00:00September 27, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The RI-URBANS’ pilot on health effects starts in four European cities

RI-URBANS's pilot 4 has been launched in Athens, Barcelona, Paris, and Zurich to demonstrate the measurement of a series of novel health indicators.    The outcomes will complement existing air quality policy with measures directly targeting emission sources relevant to health.   The RI-URBANS' pilot 4, focused on the health effects of novel air quality metrics, has just started in Athens, Barcelona, Paris, and Zurich. The studies carried out in these large, populated European cities, aim to identify particulate matter components and nanoparticles that could be especially dangerous for human health. These data will be used to evaluate premature mortality and morbidity by cause, gender, and age, and compared with the health outcomes of conventionally measured pollutants.   The pilot includes two steps: Assessment of the health effects related to air quality metrics currently available from the public administrations. This analysis is carried out in all available cities (not only in the 4 pilot cities). Assessment of the health effects related to novel air quality metrics. In this case, the air quality variables include non-regulated pollutants and parameters, such as black carbon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the number concentrations of ultrafine particles, the oxidative potential at the cellular level, etc. If the novel air quality metrics of both short-term and long-term exposures represent a better parameter to assess the impact of air pollution on health, researchers will be able to relate these metrics with health data (mortality and morbidity in each city).  The information provided in this pilot will be relevant for air quality-health policies at the European level. CHECK OUT THE SAMPLING IN HEALTH INDICATOR PILOT CITIES

By |2022-07-05T11:26:13+00:00July 5, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS participates in the Knowledge and Citizens Working Group meeting, organised by the Green Deal Support Office

RI-URBANS attended the first Knowledge and Citizens Working Group meeting, organised by the EU Green Deal Support Office on June 15, 2022.   An action plan will be developed with other Green Deal projects in order to achieve maximised positive impacts in the long-term future.    On June 15, 2022, RI-URBANS' coordinator and project manager (Xavier Querol and Marta Monge) attended the first edition of the Knowledge and Citizens Working Group meeting. The meeting was organised by the Green Deal Support Office, whose mission is to facilitate the coordination between projects funded under the Horizon 2020 Green Deal Call and maximise their positive impact in the longer term. The first Working Group meeting aimed to bring together all the knowledge and citizens task force projects to get to know each other, identify and prioritise commonalities to propose and create synergies between the projects. In addition, the Working Group meeting also served to start developing the action plan and to advance the identification of key activities. A total of 16 projects attended the meeting: Increase the transformative potential of democratic innovations to address specific topics of the European Green Deal Reshaping citizens’ deliberation for the European Green Deal Advancing behavioural change through an inclusive Green Deal Social sciences and humanities for achieving a responsible, equitable and desirable Green Deal Achieving a new European energy awareness. A European competence framework for low carbon economy and sustainability through education Smart citizen education for a green future Individual change of habits needed for green European transition Co-creating a positive and sustainable lifestyle tool with and for European citizens Wearables and drones for city socio-environmental observations and behavioral change Systemic expansion of territorial circular ecosystems for end-of-life foam A frontrunner approach to systemic circular, holistic & inclusive solutions for a new paradigm of territorial circular economy Pilot applications in urban landscapes Research infrastructures services reinforcing air quality monitoring capacities in European urban & industrial areas Integrated digital framework for comprehensive maritime data and information services     Their common focus is to strengthen citizens' awareness of their own role as actors of change, promoting inclusive and participatory approaches to decision and policymaking at the local and national levels to address climate change challenges and propose transdisciplinary approaches to behavioural change.   During the event, there were joint sessions with several of these projects. The European Commission envisaged technical synergies of RI-URBANS with ICOS CITIES / PAUL, CIRCULAR FOAM, and FRONTSH1P projects in terms of providing citizens with information systems and tools to support decision-making in both pollution monitoring and circular economy solutions adoption.   RI-URBANS' coordinator, Xavier Querol, suggested synergies and support to: Engaging RI-URBANS with both Directorates-General for Environment (DG ENV) and for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) of the European Commission Using RI-URBANS' tools, developed within the Work Package 2, for citizen science Linking the pilot studies of different projects that are simultaneously carried [...]

By |2022-06-28T10:23:28+00:00June 28, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The first stakeholder meeting shows the advancements in RI-URBANS’ pilot activities

RI-URBANS' first stakeholder meeting was held online on May 30th with the objective of demonstrating the project's societal and environmental benefits and informing about the progression of the pilot actions.    The stakeholder discussion promoted cooperation and common efforts between RI-URBANS and other air quality monitoring actors.      The RI-URBANS' first stakeholder meeting was held online on May 30th with the aim of showing the advancements of the project pilot activities to the stakeholders and bringing together the expertise and feedback from all the actors. A total of 57 participants attended the meeting. Among the stakeholders, representatives of the European Environmental Agency (EEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), together with delegates from several European Commission institutions (DG-ENV, JRC, or AQUILA) provided valuable feedback on RI-URBAN'S progress during its first year. After a brief introduction of RI-URBANS' challenges, objectives, and strategic pillars by Xavier Querol and Tuukka Petäjä, coordinators of the project, the pilot leaders took the lead in explaining the advancements in each of the pilot cases.   Pilot 1 - Near-real-time aerosol apportionment of carbonaceous aerosols   Hilkka Timonen, from the Finish Meteorological Institute (FMI), described the main objective: to pilot near-real-time source apportionment tools combining Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM), organic aerosol, and aethalometer black carbon online measurements, and its related tasks. The pilot is expected to start on 1st January 2023 and the implementation will take place in 13 sites in 7 European countries. Pilot 1 has also started building synergies with the US. Having similar tools to make intercomparisons and obtain comprehensive observations will provide great benefit in the advancement of air quality monitoring in both the EU and US urban environments.   Pilot 2 - Near-real time provision of nanoparticle number size distribution data   David Beddows, from the University of Birmingham, explained Pilot 2. This pilot provides nanoparticles data and their size distribution from 3 main European cities (Barcelona, Birmingham, and Helsinki), together with 2 volunteer cities (Paris and Athens). The explanation was followed by a discussion between RI-URBANS' coordinators and some stakeholders about ensuring the compatibility of observational data between ACTRIS and Air Quality Monitoring Networks for aerosol size distribution measurements, and the standardization of these measurements.   Pilot 3 - Urban fine-scale mapping including innovative modelling, monitoring, and crowdsourcing.   Katherin Sartelent (French National Centre for Scientific Research, CNRS) and Gerard Hoek (University of Utrecht) showed the Pilot 3 progress with its objective of describing the urban variability of outdoor exposure to nanoparticles and other pollutants using modelling tools, mobile measurements, black carbon and particulate matter mid-cost sensors, and the citizens’ participation. Some of the campaigns involving different mobile measurement approaches have already started (i.e. Bucharest campaign). The Rotterdam and Birmingham campaigns are expected to start in Autumn 2022. Ultrafine particle concentration (raw data) measured on May, 4. 2022 in Bucharest. | Image source: Doina Nicolae (INOE)   Pilot 4 - Novel health indicators of nanoparticles and particulate matter components and source contributions. [...]

By |2022-06-20T09:23:54+00:00June 8, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS’ pilots start in Bucharest to obtain urban fine scale mapping and pollution hotsposts

The measurements will map the variability and distribution of pollutants across the city and will assess the contribution of pollution hotspots, such as power plants and heavy road traffic.    The campaign will be running until mid-June, extending the tasks in winter 2022-2023 based on other work packages' requirements.     The Bucharest campaigns, led by researchers from the National Institute for Research and Development for Optoelectronics (INOE), Bucharest, Romania, have just started to implement tasks from RI-URBANS' pilots 3 and 5. RI-URBANS' pilot 3 focuses on mapping the variability and distribution of nanoparticles and other pollutants in the city. Not only the assessment takes into consideration a few fixed sampling sites, but also the horizontal and vertical variability across the city. Within the Bucharest campaign, a mobile platform is taking measures of ultrafine particles, PM1, PM2.5, and PM10 concentrations on a predefined route, from 8:30h-16:00h (including rushing hours), one day per week, if weather permits. More intensive measurements (every day) are planned for 23 May to 13 June.   Ultrafine particle concentration (raw data) measured in May, 4. 2022. | Image source: Doina Nicolae (INOE)   RI-URBANS' pilot 5 addresses the nanoparticle contributions from urban hotspots: roadsides, airports, industry, and harbours. In the Bucharest campaigns, hotspot monitoring includes two fixed sites (MARS -Măgurele Center for Atmosphere and Radiation Studies- and INCAS, next to the Bucharest Heating Power Plant) and one mobile platform to perform intensive fine scale mapping. Pollution hotspots in Bucharest assessed during the RI-URBANS' pilot 5 campaign. | Image source: INOE   Read more about RI-URBAN'S pilot studies following this link.

By |2022-05-11T11:18:57+00:00May 11, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

What are ultrafine particles?

RI-URBANS project focuses on particulate matter and ultrafine particles to enhance the air pollution monitoring systems in Europe.   Ultrafine particles, particles smaller than  0,1 µm, can be absorbed in the lung tissue and quickly enter the bloodstream, causing negative effects on the population.   What are ultrafine particles?   Ultrafine particles are usually defined as particles smaller than 0,1 µm (100nm) in diameter. To quickly get an idea about their extremely small size, if pollen had the size of a football stadium, the ultrafine particle from diesel soot would be the ball. In urban areas, ultrafine particles, also called nanoparticles, have a major anthropogenic origin, mostly primary emissions from road traffic. However, new particle formation processes can generate also ultrafine particles from precursor gaseous pollutants. This is known as nucleation or new particle formation and can be produced close to the exhausts or photochemically at urban and regional scales. Accordingly, the contributions of these sources to urban ultrafine particles might differ according to climate and emission patterns. TEM photomicrograph of ultrafine particles sampled in ambient air in Barcelona. | Image source: Xavier Querol (CSIC)   Ultrafine particles are measured in number concentrations (number/cm3) while standards of atmospheric particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5, particles smaller than 10µm and 2.5µm, respectively) are set up for mass concentrations (µg/m3).   The improvements in urban air quality in Europe undergone during the last 15 years allowed to reduce PM10 and PM2.5, but this does not necessarily imply a proportional decrease of ultrafine particles.   When particulate matter levels are high, gaseous pollutants tend to condensate on these particles and the mass concentration grows. On the contrary, when particulate matter levels are low but there is high insolation new particle formation might be favoured instead of condensation and this increases the number concentration.   Why ultrafine particles might be so relevant for health?   Epidemiological and toxicological studies suggest that negative health effects may increase with exposure to decreasing particle size. Due to its nanometric size, inhaled ultrafine particles are uptaken by epithelial cells in the lungs where they can even penetrate the tissue. They can also be translocated to the interstitial space that lies in between blood vessels or can reach directly the bloodstream, making it more difficult for its removal from the body. Another effect of these particles is the lack of macrophage recognition in the alveoli, which impairs the immune system to detect and remove them from the lungs. Ultrafine particles are inhaled and can be absorbed by the alveoli tissue, entering directly the circulatory system | Image source: OpenStax College, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.   The association between exposure to nanoparticles and health outcomes is, however, inconsistent in the literature, probably due to: reduced number of studies (compared to studies on PM2.5), lack of representativeness of the few existing nanoparticles measuring sites, hampering their link with health outcomes, differences in measurements protocols differences in source contributions: Whereas in some cities most days with high [...]

By |2022-03-31T14:37:47+00:00March 30, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments
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