Air pollution harms human health and the environment. Several regulatory efforts and different actions have been taken in the last decades by authorities. Air quality trend analysis represents a valid tool in assessing the impact of these actions taken both at national and local levels. This paper presents for the first time the capability of the Italian national chemical transport model, AMS-MINNI, in capturing the observed concentration trends of three air pollutants - NO2, inhalable particles having diameter less than 10 μm (PM10), and O3 - in Italy over the period 2003-2010. We firstly analyse the model performance finding it in line with the state of the art of regional air quality modelling. The modelled trends result in a general significant downward trend for the three pollutants and, in comparison with observations, the values of the simulated trends were of a similar magnitude for NO2 (in the range -3.0 to -0.5 μg m-3 yr-1), while a smaller range of trends was found than those observed for PM10 (-1.5 to -0.5 μg m-3 yr-1) and O3 maximum daily 8 h average concentration (-2.0 to -0.5 μg m-3 yr-1). As a general result, we find good agreement between modelled and observed trends; moreover, the model provides a greater spatial coverage and statistical significance of pollutant concentration trends with respect to observations, in particular for NO2. We also conduct a qualitative attempt to correlate the temporal concentration trends to meteorological and emission variability. Since no clear tendency in yearly meteorological anomalies (temperature, precipitation, geopotential height) was observed for the period investigated, we focus the discussion of concentration trends on emission variations. We point out that, due to the complex links between precursor emissions and air pollutant concentrations, emission reductions do not always result in a corresponding decrease in atmospheric concentrations, especially for those pollutants that are formed in the atmosphere such as O3 and the major fraction of PM10. These complex phenomena are still uncertain and their understanding is of the utmost importance in planning future policies for reducing air pollution and its impacts on health and ecosystems.

Measured and modelled air quality trends in Italy over the period 2003???2010

Ilaria D'Elia;Gino Briganti;Lina Vitali;Antonio Piersanti;Gaia Righini;Massimo D'Isidoro;Andrea Cappelletti;Mihaela Mircea;Mario Adani;Gabriele Zanini;Luisella Ciancarella
2021

Abstract

Air pollution harms human health and the environment. Several regulatory efforts and different actions have been taken in the last decades by authorities. Air quality trend analysis represents a valid tool in assessing the impact of these actions taken both at national and local levels. This paper presents for the first time the capability of the Italian national chemical transport model, AMS-MINNI, in capturing the observed concentration trends of three air pollutants - NO2, inhalable particles having diameter less than 10 μm (PM10), and O3 - in Italy over the period 2003-2010. We firstly analyse the model performance finding it in line with the state of the art of regional air quality modelling. The modelled trends result in a general significant downward trend for the three pollutants and, in comparison with observations, the values of the simulated trends were of a similar magnitude for NO2 (in the range -3.0 to -0.5 μg m-3 yr-1), while a smaller range of trends was found than those observed for PM10 (-1.5 to -0.5 μg m-3 yr-1) and O3 maximum daily 8 h average concentration (-2.0 to -0.5 μg m-3 yr-1). As a general result, we find good agreement between modelled and observed trends; moreover, the model provides a greater spatial coverage and statistical significance of pollutant concentration trends with respect to observations, in particular for NO2. We also conduct a qualitative attempt to correlate the temporal concentration trends to meteorological and emission variability. Since no clear tendency in yearly meteorological anomalies (temperature, precipitation, geopotential height) was observed for the period investigated, we focus the discussion of concentration trends on emission variations. We point out that, due to the complex links between precursor emissions and air pollutant concentrations, emission reductions do not always result in a corresponding decrease in atmospheric concentrations, especially for those pollutants that are formed in the atmosphere such as O3 and the major fraction of PM10. These complex phenomena are still uncertain and their understanding is of the utmost importance in planning future policies for reducing air pollution and its impacts on health and ecosystems.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/64068
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
social impact