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23 Apr 2018airTEXT air quality alerts for Riga

The World Health Organisation warns that air pollution is a major global cause of death and disease, and in sensitive people short-term exposure can lead to reduced lung function, respiratory infections and aggravated asthma. Air pollution levels can vary greatly in just a few hours. Residents of Riga now benefit from a new free service Riga airTEXT, launched on 27 February at Riga City Hall. Riga airTEXT informs the public with free air quality alerts by text message and emails. Air quality forecasts up to three days ahead are available online at www.rigaairtext.lv and in a free phone app. Information is also available from the Riga airTEXT Facebook and Twitter pages.

Now thanks to Riga airTEXT the public can prepare in advance for short-term periods of poor air quality. People with asthma or heart disease can take positive steps, like keeping an asthma inhaler nearby or avoiding strenuous outdoor activity.

A cutting-edge computer system at CERC automatically combines state-of-the-art satellite observations, air quality forecasts for Europe from the EU Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and ultra-high-resolution air quality forecasts for Riga from the world-leading system ADMS-Urban. ADMS-Urban simulates pollution dispersion and chemical reactions in large urban areas, accounting for thousands of individual sources and the complex air flow produced by buildings and streets. The result is a highly detailed map of street-level air pollution, with more than 100,000 data points.

Riga airTEXT has been developed by UK and Latvian scientists from CERC and ELLE with financial support from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS). Riga City Council and the Latvian Ministry of Environment are working closely with the Riga airTEXT team to ensure that the service meets the needs of the public.

A short video about Riga airTEXT has been produced by CAMS; to watch this please click here.

For more information on airTEXT, ADMS-Urban or forecasting services please contact CERC.

17 Apr 20182018 ADMS User Group Meetings to be held in Edinburgh, 7-8 November

The 2018 User Group Meetings will be held in Edinburgh on 7th and 8th November.

  • ADMS 5 User Group Meeting: Wednesday 7th November
  • ADMS-Urban and ADMS-Roads User Group Meeting: Thursday 8th November

These meetings will include the usual mix of presentations by CERC staff and software users and are the ideal opportunity to hear the latest news and advice on new model features. Users with a valid support contract are entitled to a number of free or reduced-rate delegate places depending on the type of licence held. Please contact CERC if there is a topic you would like to be covered at one of the meetings or if you would like to give a 'user view' presentation. More details will be published later in the year; registration will open online in the Summer.

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10 Apr 2018ADMS-Urban Temperature and Humidity model study of London's Olympic parkland

Dr Jenny Stocker (CERC) co-authored a recently published journal article that explores the sensitivities of the ADMS-Urban Temperature and Humidity model predictions of local urban temperatures to input parameters, using London's Olympic parkland as a case study. In particular, the land use parameters were modified to reflect building materials as well as functional types, causing up to 3°C differences in modelled temperatures; also, the sensitivity of local temperatures to wind speed was assessed. Further work will be carried out to evaluate the input parameters against temperature measurements in Kuala Lumpur under the project Disaster Resilient Cities: Forecasting Local Level Climate Extremes and Physical Hazards for Kuala Lumpur. The paper is freely available online.

References and links to more publications by CERC authors are available here while publications from other researchers using CERC models are listed here.

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23 Mar 2018Assessment of Clean Air Zones

Under the UK government's July 2017 NO2 plan, 23 local authorities are required to assess options such as Clean Air Zones (CAZ) to reduce NO2 levels in their areas. Last month the High Court ruled that a further 33 local authorities will need to study proposals to improve air quality. The government has begun working with these local authorities.

Robust assessments will be necessary to deliver these projects. CERC offer our world-leading model ADMS-Urban which is designed for assessing air quality interventions such as Clean Air Zones. For instance, ADMS-Urban is being used by

  • Transport for Greater Manchester to model CAZ options
  • Glasgow City Council and SEPA to model Low Emissions Zone proposals for bus corridors in the city centre (see map).

Contact CERC now for

  • ADMS air quality software for local authorities, consultancies and other users
  • Consultancy services for the assessment of air quality interventions
  • Training from experts in the use of our software for these assessments
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13 Mar 2018SEPA assess Glasgow Low Emission Zone using ADMS-Urban

SEPA are working with Glasgow City Council in considering a Low Emission Zone for bus corridors in the city centre. They are using CERC's world-leading ADMS-Urban model, which includes street-scale to city-wide scale modelling, advanced treatments of airflow, turbulence and dispersion within the city taking account of the effect of buildings and street canyons, chemical reactions and the mixing of pollution due to traffic.

As described in evidence to the Scottish Parliament air quality committee, the ADMS-Urban output (first image) are predicted annual-mean concentrations of NO2 at points around the city, with the colour indicating whether they are above (red) or below (green) the annual-mean threshold of 40μg/m3.

The second image shows good agreement between modelled air-quality concentrations for 6 sites compared with the monitored values at these sites in 2015 using the 'congested speed' scenario. In particular the large roadside increment is well represented by the model. No model adjustment factors have been used in this project.

Two LEZ scenarios have been investigated with ADMS-Urban and CERC's EMIT emissions inventory tool: (1) assuming all buses are at EURO VI, and (2) additionally assuming diesel cars and LGVs are at Euro 6 and petrol cars and LGVs are at EURO 4 or newer. At a monitor location within the LEZ, the greatest improvement in air quality was predicted by cleaning the bus fleet, with a small additional improvement by targeting cars and LGVs. The modelling work is continuing efficiently and the Glasgow LEZ is expected to be in place by the end of 2018.


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