New Atmospheric Pollution Indicators and Tools to Support Policy for Environmental Sustainable Development

Maria Cristina Mammarella, Giovanni Grandoni, Pasquale Fedele, Harindra J.S. Fernando, Silvana di Sabatino, Laura S. Leo, Marco Cacciani, Giampietro Casasanta, Ann Dallman

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Abstract

Air pollution, in particular high air pollution events, increase the effects of climate change on human health. It is necessary to undertake actions to prevent and minimize these adverse events with the aim of supporting a policy for environmental sustainable development. For this purpose science, industry and institutions became allies through an applied research project in the valley of Biferno on the Adriatic Sea shore in central Italy. The purpose of this project is to search for new atmospheric pollution indicators and tools to support a policy for environmental sustainable development, useful to tackle climate change. The EART (ENEA Atmosphere Research Team) of ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) has, with the cooperation of American, European and Russian research groups leading at the environmental level, investigated an industrial site through the concept of a "meteodiffusivity scenario". Meteodiffusivity is based on a new way to think of air quality, as the result of a strong interaction between emissions and local meteorological climatic factors. The micrometeorological parameters, and especially the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) depth, modulate the airborne concentration of emissions, causing their build up or dispersion, depending on the atmospheric turbulence. Generally high air pollution events are affected by a low PBL height that prevents pollutant dispersion. High air pollution events frequently occur in anthropogenically polluted areas despite the fact that atmospheric emissions are checked and do not exceed legal limits. The meteodiffusivity method of analysis enables a more accurate interpretation of how the air quality of a place reacts to the pressure caused by anthropogenic activities, in order to try and mitigate the impact on the environment and human health. In fact, the control of local energy flows can reduce the negative effects of air quality on the land and climate. This innovative approach is based on new meteorological indicators and information tools in order to contribute to a development shift, from uncontrolled expansion to sustainability. The case study presented here is a project which was realized in lower Molise in the Biferno Valley, near Termoli (Molise Region, Italy), where a large manufacturing district coexists with a former fishing village that is now a well known tourist resort. The project execution and results were published in a volume entitled "Research on Environmental Management in a Coastal Industrial Area: new indicators and tools for air quality and river investigations" ISBN 9788860818997 and edited by Armando publishers. The book was presented for the first time at the conference NATO ARW "Climate Change, Human Health and National Security" in Dubrovnik from 28 to 30 April 2011. It is also available as a CD ROM. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191 - 197
Number of pages7
JournalNATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security
Volume125
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)

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