Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - BREATHE (Bristol environmental atmospheric chemistry)

Climate change and surface air quality are two of the most pressing concerns as we enter the 21st century. The BREATHE EST has addressed many aspects of these important and multi-disciplinary problems. We have developed and deployed novel sensors that have allowed us to understand how emissions (stationary and moving) of pollutants released in the urban environment disperse as a function of local meteorology and building geometry. In particular, new insight into the impact of outdoor air quality on indoor air has been made, showing that pollutants may accumulate in buildings and that emissions from moving vehicles have a significantly higher impact on pollution levels than stationary sources (around five times more effective on street scales). Robust relationships developed will allow future air quality and building planning to be informed.

New computer models have been developed that incorporate these data in collaboration with the United Kingdom Meteorological Office.

A range of laboratory studies have provided considerable insight into the role played by aerosol in the urban environment and how these aerosol age and transform in the presence of pollutants. In particular, the role of soot has been investigated. Theoretical and laboratory studies have allowed us to understand the interaction between sunlight and key species in the atmosphere, showing that the atmospheres natural cleaning ability is more robust than first thought.

New instrumentation has been developed and deployed at the Mace Head Research Station (a NASA global air watch station) providing key insights into the oxidising capacity of the atmosphere and showing that methane, a key greenhouse gas, is increasing again, with implications for warming of the atmosphere.
For more details see: http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/breathe/

Reported by

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
BRISTOL
United Kingdom
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