Air pollution in Barcelona comes mostly from motorized transport and industrial activities. Over 60% of nitrogen dioxide comes from daily vehicle traffic. Although Barcelona announces Europe’s largest ban on older vehicles, the increase in the number of cars on the road has more than offset the cleaner combustion.
The Bes’s area has been the highly industrial where they have now largely been replaced by service companies, producing a marked drop in atmospheric emissions. With the 25th most visited cities in the world, Barcelona, in July, the second warmest month just after August, when the ozone pollution (OP) levels are high, and the peak tourist season, is jam-packed in sun-filled beaches, open-air dining and outdoor concerts. To this end and improving the ecological infrastructure, the City Council has established its Program for Promoting Urban Green Infrastructures (UGI), a government measure aiming to improve the quality of life for citizens by increasing greenery in the city. According to the Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility Area (EUPMA) (1), there are 0.24 million trees, and the Tree Master Plant for next 20 years is to increase the number to 1.4 million covering 25.2% of the city surface. In this plan, 54 new spaces of natural interest in the city center have been found. Furthermore, 67% of roofs in Barcelona has available to make them green. The UGI undoubtedly has several benefits; however, it is unknown or not quantified rigorously on how the UGI affects the OP. Depending on the quantity and the variety of the anthropogenic emissions (e.g., CO, NOx, VOCs), the UGI either facilitates or destroys the ozone formation processes in the summer months. In this fellowship, keeping the human health effects by the OP, which is directly linked to the Natural Resource Management in Barcelona, I intend to quantify the effect of the present UGI, and several UGI scenarios recommended by the EUPMA on the ground-level ozone for the month of the peak out-door activity in Barcelona.
The UGI responds to meteorology and impact on the local chemistry in a complex way. Hence, they have to be quantitatively demonstrated using meticulous numerical experimentation with good observations of both meteorological parameters and emissions of critical pollutants mentioned. The whole region of Catalonia is observed by meteorological parameters horizontally with stations, satellites, and radars, and vertically in Barcelona with radiosondes. While in the case of pollution, the emissions of the ozone precursors such as CO, NOX observations are more concentrated on urban Barcelona. However, the VOCs observations are very sparse; therefore, the VOCs is synthesized from different sources (e.g., AirBase-The European Air Quality Database, Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research, RETRO inventory, etc.). The researchers who are interested and expert in numerical modeling of the atmosphere can use the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) with Regional Atmospheric Chemistry Model (RACM). However, the RACM is poor in case of handling of the biogenic chemical reactions. Therefore, Mainz Isoprene Mechanisms (MIM) will be coupled to RACM to handle the plant-atmospheric chemistry. This WRF-RACM-MIM is very complex, computationally expensive, but suitable for the purpose.
I spent a great deal of time to write this proposal; however, I could not get this project funding. Therefore, I am writing it as a blog thinking that it will be helpful to someone looking for the research problems.