Air pollution and climate change measures should be linked

Air pollution and climate change measures should be linked

National measures to cut air pollution would benefit from stronger links with climate action, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA). In their latest briefing, the EEA presented an overview of the latest policies and measures reported by Member States to tackle air pollution, as required under the National Emission reduction Commitments (NEC) Directive.  Policies to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOX), particulate matter (PM2.5) and ammonia (NH3) mainly focus on the agriculture, transport and energy sectors.  However, the briefing shows that the Member States have identified about one-third of their air pollution policies should have links with national policies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, which are reported under the Regulation on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.  According to the Briefing, it is vital to seek coherence across climate change mitigation and air pollution.  Promoting consistency in reporting policies and measures on air pollution, energy and climate change can reduce red tape, foster policy coherence and support the identification of synergies across efforts...
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New Study Co-authored by Prof. Jos Lelieveld Estimates Exposure to Air Pollution Increases COVID-19 Deaths by 15% Worldwide

Study co-authored by the Institute Prof. Jos Lelieveld estimates 15% of COVID-19 deaths worldwide could be attributed to air pollution. Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of dying from COVID-19 and, for the first time, a study has estimated the proportion of deaths from the coronavirus that could be attributable to particulate matter air pollution for every country in the world. Professor Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz and Professor at Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C) of The Cyprus Institute, stated: “Since the numbers of deaths from COVID-19 are increasing all the time, it’s not possible to give final numbers of COVID-19 deaths per country that could be attributed to air pollution. However, as an example, in the UK there have been more than 44,000 coronavirus deaths and we estimate that the fraction attributable to air pollution is 14%, meaning that about 6,000 deaths could have been avoided...
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1rst PRECEPT Project Press Release: The first, Novel and Cost-effective Particulate Matter Monitor, Made in Cyprus

Under the framework of the PRECEPT project https://preceptproject.info , Additess LTD and the Cyprus Institute (CyI) have developed a portable, cost-effective and accurate monitor for measuring the number concentration and size of airborne particulate matter (PM).  The PRECEPT PM monitor, is an autonomous instrument that can measure the size and number of all airborne PM from 0.3 to more comparable with other laboratory grade instruments at a fraction of their cost. The PRECEPT PM monitor comes equipped with a touch screen and a micro-computer, allowing for in-situ operation and real-time visualization of the measurements, without the need of an external computer. In addition, the PRECEPT PM monitor utilizes a compact but efficient flow system, which allows its connection to aerosol sampling and pre-treatment lines (common in atmospheric observational sites); something that distinguishes it from most of the other PM monitors that reside in the low-cost price range. The PRECEPT PM monitor is compact and equipped with a battery, thus it can...
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Surface air temperature for November 2020

Surface air temperature for November 2020

Globally, November 2020 was the warmest November on record, by a clear margin. For Europe, the month was the joint second warmest on record. Temperatures were most above the 1981-2010 average over a large region covering much of northern Europe, Siberia and the Arctic Ocean, while temperatures were most below average over central Asia and West Antarctica. November 2020 was warmer than the 1981-2010 average for the month over almost all of  Europe. Temperatures were considerably higher than average over the Alps and the north of the continent. Norway had its joint warmest November in a data series reaching back to 1900. Sweden and Finland also saw records broken. Conditions were close to or a little cooler than average only in parts of the south-east of the continent. Temperatures were exceptionally high for November over a large region covering much of Siberia, the Arctic Ocean and bordering coastal seas, extending into western and northern Alaska and the far north-west of Canada. Temperatures...
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CyI Organizes Webinar on the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Climate Change Initiative

On October 15, 2020, The Cyprus Institute organized a webinar on the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Climate Change Initiative (EMME-CCI). This Initiative builds upon the work that led to the International Conference held in Cyprus, in May 2018, which focused on “Climate Change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East”. The webinar organized at CyI’s premises in Aglantzia, within the framework of the Cyprus Government Initiative, provided the opportunity to the thematic Task Forces assembled to present and discuss their preliminary findings. During this event, eleven of the thirteen Task Forces presented their findings whereas members of all Task Forces participated. More than half of all members of the Task Forces from twenty countries, representatives from international organizations, as well as the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Dr Costas Kadis participated at this online event. The EMME-CCI aims at the development of a Regional Action Plan to address the specific needs and challenges countries are facing in the EMME...
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German aerosol scientists say these 6 indoor air guidelines will reduce COVID-19 spread

German aerosol scientists say these 6 indoor air guidelines will reduce COVID-19 spread

Finally, experts are addressing the contagious elephant in the room: How to actually make indoor air safe in the age of the coronavirus. This week a top cohort of German scientists released surprisingly straight-forward indoor air guidelines to prevent COVID-19 spread. They are: N95 masks. “They should be mandatory in many sectors, instead of the simple hygiene masks,” write the authors.Window ventilation. The more, the better. It’s effective and cheap.Exhaust ventilation systems. The air must be extracted upwards through an overhead exhaust suction, and appropriately filtered if recirculated. The group advises that these ventilation systems be installed immediately in places like classrooms, restaurants, hospitals, buses, and trains.Air purification systems. The use of appropriate purifiers for the size and space are critical. Portable is fine.CO2 monitoring. The results are proxy for how well ventilation is working. If CO2 levels are extremely low in buildings like museums, for example, reopening could be reasonable.No fans. Ceiling fans recirculate air, likely keeping virus particles in the air for...
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Inside the innovative eco-school designed to remove air pollution

Inside the innovative eco-school designed to remove air pollution

Source: https://www.euronews.com/living/2020/09/02/inside-the-innovative-eco-school-designed-to-remove-air-pollution  By Doloresz Katanich  02/09/2020  Forest School in Pune   -   Copyright  Nudes - Nuru Karim  This 'Forest School' design was the winning entry for a competition held to create a new educational facility in Pune, a city in western India. The design comes from architecture studio Nudes who specialise in blending social, cultural and environmental aspects in a building. The city of Pune has witnessed dramatic urban growth as well as worsening air quality in the last decade. The level of pollutants regularly exceeds both Indian standards and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. The design of the 'Forest School' tackles this problem. The vertical garden serves to purify the air from pollutants and chemicals and turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. The healthy school environment is topped off by a rooftop “infinity” cycling track. The school will teach children from an early age, providing hands-on learning about the environment and climate change. ...
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European cities race to clean the air

European cities race to clean the air

Source: https://www.euronews.com/2020/08/31/european-cities-race-to-clean-the-air  By Copernicus    31/08/2020  London view from St Paul's Cathedral   Copyright  Getty Images Mounting concerns about public health are pushing cities to scrub their air clean. But just how easy is breathing fresh air again? Italy’s economic powerhouse hadn’t felt so clean in years. As the novel coronavirus put the country and the hard-hit region of Lombardia under lockdown, muting the human and economic buzz, it also unlocked an unlikely reality: cities with better quality. Above the Earth, satellites confirmed the slash in air pollutants, as they took snapshots of the region’s clearer skies, including Milan’s, infamous for its dangerous air pollution levels, just as many other places in the world. This March, nitrous oxide was down 38%, particulate matter 14%, and benzene 33% lower, compared to the same month between 2016-2019, data from Lombardia’s environment agency showed. Madrid, Lisbon, and other cities in Europe also breathed fresher air through their lockdowns. But this silver lining to the global health emergency turns to be short-lived as...
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Exposure to air pollution may increase risk of COVID-19 death

Exposure to air pollution may increase risk of COVID-19 death

Source: https://airqualitynews.com/2020/08/25/exposure-to-air-pollution-may-increase-risk-of-covid-19-death/ 25.08.2020 Long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM2.5) may increase the risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19 by up to 7%, according to researchers at the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  In order to understand the link between long-term exposure to air pollution and COVID-19, researchers at ONS developed a detailed statistical model controlling for factors such as levels of deprivation, ethnicity, population density, public health and pre-existing health conditions. The researchers considered exposure to ozone, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). They did not account for changes in pollution levels since the pandemic began. At the start of the pandemic, infection rates were highest in cities where air pollution is also high. Up to the week when lockdown began, 45% of deaths in England had occurred in London, however by the week ending June 12, this had fallen to 18%. As the virus spread across the country, the correlation between air pollution exposure and COVID-19 mortality decreased. While deaths rates have generally been...
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CyI Models Atmospheric Transport of Pollution After Explosion in Beirut

Trajectory ensemble over 72 hours of atmospheric transport of air parcels originating from the 4 August 2020 explosion at Beirut, Lebanon The Environmental Predictions Department of The Cyprus Institute Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C) has used the HYSPLIT model to track and forecast the potential atmospheric transport of pollution originating from the explosion of 4 August 2020 at Beirut, Lebanon. In the HYSPLIT particle model, a fixed number of particles are advected about the model domain by the mean wind field and spread by a turbulent component. The model calculates a 3-dimensional particle distribution (horizontal and vertical). The modelled meteorological conditions, including wind speed and direction, were used to calculate air parcel trajectories for 72 hours after the explosion. The trajectory ensemble includes multiple trajectories from the location of the explosion. Based on the model, air masses above the accident site were transported to the East and South of Lebanon. Each member of the trajectory ensemble is calculated by offsetting the meteorological data...
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