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15 May 2017Clean Air Zones

On 5 May the UK government published the principles for setting up new Clean Air Zones in England, which can include charges for older vehicles which do not meet emission standards such as Euro 6. Local authorities who propose Clean Air Zones must consider the sources of vehicle pollution in their area to ensure the zone design is appropriate to meet the air quality challenge.

CERC's ADMS-Urban and EMIT software are invaluable aids in these assessments, allowing:

  • Source apportionment of emissions and concentrations, for instance to determine the relative contributions from diesel cars below Euro 6 standard. Map 1 shows the proportion of total NOx concentration due to particular vehicle types at specific locations.
  • Assessment of the impact of measures, including changes in emissions and concentrations due to changes in road traffic flows and fleet composition. Map 2 shows the changes in emissions predicted from the implementation of a mitigation measure.

The two maps are taken from recent studies by CERC's consultancy team, who have extensive experience in assisting local authorities to assess air quality measures on challenging timescales. The ADMS-Urban and EMIT software tools are available for use in assessments by local authorities or consultants. For more information please contact CERC, and one of our technical consultants will be delighted to discuss your requirements.

27 Apr 2017Spring 2017 editions of ADMS Model Newsletters now available

Catch up on ADMS model news in the Spring 2017 editions of ADMS 5 & ADMS-Screen News and ADMS-Urban & ADMS-Roads News which are now available. The newsletters are published approximately twice a year and include the latest news about the ADMS models, the annual User Group Meetings, CERC activities, training courses and recently published papers as well as a page of useful modelling tips. Previous editions of the newsletters are available here.

20 Apr 2017Optimising local air quality models using sensor data - DMUG 2017

Amy Stidworthy from CERC recently presented preliminary results from an ongoing project to optimise ADMS-Urban modelling using data from a network of low cost pollution sensors at IAQM's annual conference for dispersion modellers, DMUG 2017. This work is part of a wider collaboration between CERC, Cambridge University, Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and AQMesh to investigate how modelled and monitored data can be used together to improve urban air quality assessment.

Amy's presentation describes an optimisation scheme, developed at CERC, that minimises the part of dispersion model error which is due to emissions data error by adjusting emission rates on an hourly basis to optimise model performance in comparison with sensor data; the scheme accounts for estimated uncertainty in the sensor and emissions data and complex co-variance between individual source emissions error and between individual sensor error. To view the presentation click here. To view all the presentations from DMUG 2017 click here.

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7 Apr 2017Defra briefing praises airTEXT air quality communication service

Defra's recent Air Quality Briefing for Directors of Public Health says “clear public health messages enable the public to reduce their personal exposure... this is beneficial for the general population and those with existing health conditions. Examples of successful implementation of health communication include air quality services such as airTEXT.”

airTEXT has provided a public air quality and health information service for London since 2007 and has recently expanded to Colchester and Chelmsford. It offers three-day air quality forecasts for O3, NO2, PM10 and PM2.5 at street-scale resolution using CERC's ADMS-Urban modelling system. People who sign up to the airTEXT pollution alerts receive free voice, email or text messages when air pollution is forecast to be moderate or higher. airTEXT is operated by CERC in partnership with a consortium made up of representatives from all the member local authorities, the GLA, Public Health England and the Environment Agency.

The full Defra briefing is available online (.pdf, 7MB). For more information on airTEXT, ADMS-Urban or forecasting services please contact CERC.

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4 Apr 2017Hong Kong street-level air quality forecasting and exposure

CERC are partners in a new 5-year air quality (AQ) & health project that will develop a real-time, urban AQ modelling system capable of analysing and forecasting pollution levels in Hong Kong down to individual street level. PRAISE-HK (Personalised Real-time Air quality Information System for Exposure – Hong Kong) is being led by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with contributions from a number of other Hong Kong partners and CERC, and is part of the HSBC 150th anniversary charity programme.

The Hong Kong forecasting system will use the CMAQ regional model with WRF meteorological data coupled to a Linux version of CERC's ADMS-Urban high-resolution air quality model with its Regional Model Link allowing calculation of air pollution forecast maps at street-scale resolution. The schematic shows how the project will progress.

GPS-based real-time estimates of pollutant concentrations will be made available to the public via a website and a mobile app. The app will provide personalised pollutant exposure information relating to different periods of the day, and will be able to predict exposure levels relating to routes and modes of transport selected by the user.

The project also includes measurements and characterisation of AQ variations in different indoor microenvironments around HK. Various community groups will be targeted to help them better understand how outdoor ambient air conditions impacts on indoor AQ. You can sign up for the PRAISE-HK newsletter if you wish to keep informed of the Hong Kong developments.


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