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Pollution of air in the extended region of Athens: Space-based Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) observations and their comparison with remote and ground–based measurements and modeling simulations


Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) is one of the most important tropospheric pollutants leading to poor air quality and inducing climate changes. Public exposure to NO2 at urban environments is of great health concern as it is known to cause human respiratory problems. NO2 is one of the main precursors of the photochemical smog; it contributes to the acidification of the atmosphere, control the oxidation capacity of the atmosphere and affect locally its radiative forcing. In order to access the significance of these issues, a deep understanding of all relevant, physical and chemical processes, that control the atmosphere, is required. To this end, one of the most important steps towards filling the gap of knowledge on NOx relevant processes has been made recently, via space-based observations of the NO2 vertical column densities (VCD). “PARTHENO2N” focuses on the investigation of the abundances and the seasonal changes of the NO2 columns retrieved over the region of Athens and its surroundings from four different satellite instruments (GOME, SCIAMACHY, GOME-2 and OMI). In order to gain confidence in satellite observations, it is important to investigate, both qualitatively and quantitatively, their representativeness for different geo-locations. “PARTHENO2N” will provide, for the first time, a high quality intercomparison of the satellite data with various ground based, in situ and remote sensing, observations performed by: i) a novel multi axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy system (MaxDOAS) measuring both the vertical columns and profiles of NO2 ii) a Brewer-MK4 spectrometer used to retrieve column densities of NO2 and iii) in situ chemiluminescence analysers recording the nitrogen oxides mixing ratios. Lastly the validated satellite observations are going to be compared with the simulations of the well established chemical transport model (Oslo-CTM2) in order to improve our understanding concerning the effect of anthropogenic emissions in urban areas.

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Panepistimiou Ave. 28
10679 Athens
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 45 000
Administrative Contact
Ekaterini Kotsira (Ms.)