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Sources and Chemical Composition of Particulate Matter in Poland and their Control Strategies

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PMCOST (Sources and Chemical Composition of Particulate Matter in Poland and their Control Strategies)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-12-31

PMCOST addresses the key challenge of particulate matter (PM) air pollution in Poland which is one of the major threats to human health across the country and Europe in general. To date air pollution modelling in Poland has not received the support needed to fully grasp these challenges. PMCOST brings together Polish researchers, including young scientists on air pollution together with world leading experts from the UK and Norway to address this challenge. This twinning of researchers, matches complementary areas of expertise and will enable Polish scientists to become more effective in supporting Polish policy makers and other stakeholders in assessment and improving air quality in Poland. The project will develop a capability in Poland for state of the art atmospheric chemistry transport modelling (ACTM). This will permit a detailed national assessment of the complex chemical composition of PM, the main contributing emissions sources and the most effective strategies to protect human health through targeted emissions abatement. To achieve this goal PMCOST will focus on three core Twinning Activities: 1) training of Polish staff through two-way exchange with the expert partners; 2) improving the output of high quality peer reviewed publications; 3) developing the interface between scientists and stakeholders and policy makers through thematic workshops. The key aspects of the Training Programme are represented by three of the five work packages focused on preparation of high quality emissions data for use in ACTMs, operational air pollution modelling of PM and assessing the human health benefits of different emission abatement options.
The main objectives of the project are:
• To improve scientific expertise and outputs within the domain of air pollution modelling through training of the Polish team in the preparation of high quality atmospheric pollutant emissions data, advanced chemical transport models, application of modelling results in air pollution management.
• To improve academic outputs of the Polish team by publishing joint peer reviewed papers in higher impact journals.
• To establish a long lasting scientific co-operation between the networking partners beyond the project, including interactions across the Polish research groups and internationally.
During the first period of the project implementation (October 2019 – December 2020) we focused on training and working in three main areas: emissions data to chemical transport models, air pollution modelling in a regional and air pollution modelling in a local scale. We had eight training meetings and all of them were organised as online events as due to the epidemiological situation (covid-19), internal regulations of the partners’ institutions did not allowed to travel. In case of emissions we worked with emission databases available for Poland and on preparation of tools for processing of emissions data. One of the main output is a paper published in peer-reviewed JCR journal on effect of emission inventory on modelling of seasonal exposure metrics of particulate matter and ozone for Poland. Training in regional scale modelling focused on modelling with EMEP, such as e.g. development of EMEP4PL towards BaP modelling. We discussed also possibilities of application of the high resolution uEMEP model over Poland. Paper on implantation of birch pollen into WRF-Chem model has been published in peer-reviewed JCR journal. Training on local scale modelling focused on possibilities, requirements and limitations of different models as well as preparation of input data and models setups for a selected case study.
The progress meetings include the kick-off meeting, annual meeting and steering committee meetings. The kick-off meeting took place at the University of Wroclaw on 23-24 October 2019. The meeting aimed to introduce all present to each other in person and to facilitate the collaboration and knowledge sharing between the partners. We focused on getting to know the current research activities of the partners and developing the training plan for the PMCOST project. Two presentations on emissions and air pollution modelling for Europe were given by the experts from the UK and Norway. The first annual meeting took place on 8th December 2020 on the MS Teams platform. In the first part of the meeting, open to all PMCOST participants, experts from Imperial and UKCEH gave presentations on modelling an urban pollution dispersion and air pollution measurements. In the second part, the steering committee discussed the current issues, including review of tasks and milestones for 2020 and planning for 2021. Two additional steering committee meetings took part in the reporting period.
The project has been disseminated trough presentations, website information and newsletter within different audience, i.e. researchers, policy makers and wider public, including school children. It is estimated that information on PMCOST or its results reached to about 2000 researchers, 2000 people from a general public and 30 policy makers and health specialists.
The overall progress of the project as well as the impact of the results can be demonstrated through Key Impact Indicators that have been defined in the project proposal. In the proposal we suggested that the baseline is 5 last years before the project submission (years 2014-2018). Period of 2019-2021 were planned to be compared to the baseline at the end of the project. Therefore, for the first periodic report we provide information for the shorter period of 2019-2020.
Number of publications of Polish group in air pollution area (average per year) in peer-reviewed international journals was 4 in the reference period and increased to 8 for 2019-2021. Average journal impact factor increased from 2.2 to 2.9.
Number of collaboration (average per year) with policy makers increased from 2 in the reference period to 2.5 whereas the planned value was 3 (2019-2021).
Average per year application for national grants in air pollution area increased from 1 in the reference period to 1.5 for the reporting period. In case of EU project it increased from 0.3 to 1.5 which is higher than originally planned in the proposal by the end of the project (0.6 was planned 2-5 years after finishing the project).