Polluted air in urban areas is a global problem. Both short- and long-term exposure to polluted air of people, especially from vulnerable groups such as children and adults, can cause irritation, inflammation, allergies and lead to reduced lung function, respiratory infections, asthma and more.

Microscopic particles can potentially enter the bloodstream and cause serious damage to human health. Polluted air also affects natural ecosystems and biodiversity, buildings and cultural heritage, climate and many other fields.

For this reason, the INNOAIR project is working to improve air quality by implementing various measures. In addition to the forthcoming introduction of green public transport on demand, low-emission areas, green corridors and congestion charges, the measures are also oriented towards insuring citizens to be well informed.

On September 24, within the INNOAIR project, the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) organized a seminar, addressed to number of issues related to the measurements, modeling and forecasting of concentrations of various air pollutants. The event aroused the interest of over 40 participants from various fields of activity. NIMH lecturers answered many questions and provoked a lively discussion. 

The participants got acquainted with the main factors playing role in the spread of pollutants in the atmosphere, learned why we need numerical models to study and predict them, as well as what types of models are used in our country and around the world, and what their main components are.

It was interesting for the participants to understand that domestic heating, traffic and industrial enterprises in and around the city are the main groups of emission sources in urban areas. They learned more about the peculiarities of the diffusion of pollutants in built-up areas in comparison to diffusion over a flat area, as well as why some models work in real time but others are "triggered" only for specific tasks and cases.

The concept of “Chemical Weather” was also discussed - what it means, how and for what terms it is forecasted. Information about the latter can be found on the NIMH website at the following links: http://info.meteo.bg/cw2.1/ for the regions of Europe, the Balkan Peninsula and Bulgaria, and http://info.meteo.bg/cw2.2/ for Bulgaria, Sofia region and Sofia city. In addition, the participants got acquainted with the system developed and maintained by NIMH for monitoring the spread of radioactive cloud from an accident in one of the 36 nuclear power plants across Europe http://info.meteo.bg/BERS/.

It was also explained what is an air quality management system, how it works and what it gives, as well as the similarities and differences between the air quality management system and the air quality improvement program.

The principles underlying the system for fine dust particles pollution forecasting in Sofia Municipality, what statistical approaches and methods were used in its realization, were presented to the participants.

Another topic for discussions was the impact of buildings and other terrestrial facilities on the spread of pollutants and why one and the same diffusion model cannot be applied directly to urban environments and larger domains.

Participants received information about the benefits of avant-garde models and their application in air pollution modeling in urban environments, as well as how the results of such models are tested and interpreted.

Finally, the participants learned about the operational models of European and world centers with information on air pollution and got idea on where they could see graphically represented various parameters and data.

If you are interested in the above topics, but you have not been able to participate in the event, we provide the opportunity to view all the presentations HERE:

     - АВАНГАРДНИ МОДЕЛИ С ОТЧИТАНЕ НА ХАРАКТЕРИСТИКИ НА ГРАДСКАТА СРЕДА, Антон Петров, НИМХ

     - СИСТЕМА ЗА УПРАВЛЕНИЕ НА КАЧЕСТВОТО НА АТМОСФЕРНИЯ ВЪЗДУХ (КАВ) В ГРАД ПЛОВДИВ, Димитър Атанасов, Национален институт по метеорология и хидрология 

     - МОДЕЛИРАНЕ НА АТМОСФЕРНО ЗАМЪРСЯВАНЕ В ГРАДСКА СРЕДА, Димитър Атанасов, Национален институт по метеорология и хидрология

     - БЪЛГАРСКА СИСТЕМА ЗА ПРОГНОЗА НА ХИМИЧЕСКОТО ВРЕМЕ, Димитър Сираков, НИМХ

     - МОДЕЛИРАНЕ НА АТМОСФЕРНОТО ЗАМЪРСЯВАНЕ, Димитър Сираков, НИМХ

     - ПРОДУКТИ НА ЕВРОПЕЙСКИ § СВЕТОВНИ ЦЕНТРОВЕ ЗА КАВ, доц. д-р Емилия Георгиева, НИМХ

     - EARLY WARNING SYSTEM FOR PM10 IN SOFIA

Air pollution is a complex problem that requires in-depth and multilateral research, as well as the joint efforts of various groups of experts, politicians, businessmen and ordinary people. Appropriate measures and policies are needed to address urban air quality issues, and citizens’ participation at all levels of the process is strongly recommended. In this regard, the INNOAIR team engages all stakeholders in decision-making to address the problem and implement the necessary measures to achieve measurable results.