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Special Issue "Atmospheric Pollution"

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A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2009)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Pallav Purohit (Website)

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Mitigation of Air Pollution & Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Fax: +43 2236807 533
Interests: science; technology and policy focused on energy and environmental issues of developing countries; energy economics; energy policy and planning; renewable energy; clean development mechanism; air pollution control and health

Special Issue Information

Atmospheric pollution is considered as a major problem of environmental health. The growing public concerns, evidence from research and increasing scientific knowledge are all driving widespread discussions on air pollution, climate change, and associated health impacts. Many air pollutants and greenhouse gases have common sources and diffuse globally, interact in the atmosphere, and jointly affect ecosystems. Thus, air pollution is also part of climate change. Therefore, the aim of this special issue is to bring together research findings focusing research and development on air pollution control, greenhouse gas mitigation and associated health impacts. Literature review papers in the relevant fields are also welcomed.

Original research papers or reviews are invited in the following themes, which is not exhaustive:
  • Cost effectiveness (Cost effective mitigation of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions).
  • Air pollution (Consideration of emissions inventory of air pollutants, policies, measures and control techniques for air pollution, air pollution modelling, dispersion of air pollutants, environmental effects of air pollutants, green technologies of air pollution prevention, etc.)
  • Climate change (Consideration of emissions inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, policies, mitigation measures and adaptation strategies, legal issues related to the flexibility mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol, etc.)
  • Health impacts (impact of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions on human health)

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Climate change
  • Emission inventory
  • Health impacts
  • Cost effectiveness

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Global Emissions, Local Emissions and Immissions of Different Heating Systems
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 494-515; doi:10.3390/su1030494
Received: 29 June 2009 / Accepted: 12 August 2009 / Published: 19 August 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper assesses and compares existing and new technologies for space heating in Germany (e.g., heat pumps, and solar thermal and wood pellet systems) in terms of their environmental impacts. The various technologies were analyzed within the context of the new German [...] Read more.
This paper assesses and compares existing and new technologies for space heating in Germany (e.g., heat pumps, and solar thermal and wood pellet systems) in terms of their environmental impacts. The various technologies were analyzed within the context of the new German legislation. The assessment was carried out on three levels: 1. Global emissions: a life cycle assessment was carried out in order to find the global environmental footprint of the various technologies; 2. Local emissions: the effects of local emissions on human health were analyzed; and 3. Immissions: the immissions were evaluated for the various technologies using a dispersion calculation. A special feature of this study is the substitution of frequently used database emission values by values obtained from field studies and our own measurements. The results show large differences between the different technologies: while electric heat pumps performed quite well in most categories, wood pellet systems performed the best with respect to climate change. The latter, however, are associated with high impacts in other environmental impact categories and on a local scale. The promotion of some technologies (especially systems based on fuel oil, a mixture of fuel oil and rapeseed oil, or a mixture of natural gas and biomethane) by the newly introduced German legislation is doubtful. In terms of the immissions of wood pellet systems, it can be concluded that, even for extremely unfavorable meteorological conditions, the regulatory limits are not exceeded and the heating systems have a negligible influence on the total PM load in the ambient air. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Pollution)
Open AccessArticle Social Equity Considerations in the Implementation of Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation Policies
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 363-383; doi:10.3390/su1030363
Received: 16 June 2009 / Accepted: 20 July 2009 / Published: 23 July 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean prepare to take climate change adaptation measures, there is a distinct possibility that the most vulnerable groups, especially the poor, women, indigenous, elderly, and children in rural and coastal communities are at risk [...] Read more.
As the Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean prepare to take climate change adaptation measures, there is a distinct possibility that the most vulnerable groups, especially the poor, women, indigenous, elderly, and children in rural and coastal communities are at risk of being marginalized. It is necessary to take into consideration the adaptation needs of these groups that are likely to be disproportionately affected due to inherent structural and social disparities. In this paper we focus on the need to ensure inclusion and social equity in adaptation planning as climate change issues disproportionately impact health, settlement, and livelihoods of these vulnerable groups. We also focus on climate change potential impacts on tourism, agriculture and fisheries sectors, which are the major economic drivers of these island states. Based on Caribbean region wide observations, we recommend priority areas including increasing community participation, local initiatives and filling critical socio-economic and livelihood data gaps, which policy makers need to focus on and incorporate in their climate change adaptation plans in order to ensure effective and equitable climate change adaptation Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Pollution)

Review

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Open AccessReview Black Carbon’s Properties and Role in the Environment: A Comprehensive Review
Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 294-320; doi:10.3390/su2010294
Received: 13 November 2009 / Accepted: 7 January 2010 / Published: 15 January 2010
Cited by 47 | PDF Full-text (396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Produced from incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuel in the absence of oxygen, black carbon (BC) is the collective term for a range of carbonaceous substances encompassing partly charred plant residues to highly graphitized soot. Depending on its form, condition of [...] Read more.
Produced from incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuel in the absence of oxygen, black carbon (BC) is the collective term for a range of carbonaceous substances encompassing partly charred plant residues to highly graphitized soot. Depending on its form, condition of origin and storage (from the atmosphere to the geosphere), and surrounding environmental conditions, BC can influence the environment at local, regional and global scales in different ways. In this paper, we review and synthesize recent findings and discussions on the nature of these different forms of BC and their impacts, particularly in relation to pollution and climate change. We start by describing the different types of BCs and their mechanisms of formation. To elucidate their pollutant sorption properties, we present some models involving polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and organic carbon. Subsequently, we discuss the stability of BC in the environment, summarizing the results of studies that showed a lack of chemical degradation of BC in soil and those that exposed BC to severe oxidative reactions to degrade it. After a brief overview of BC extraction and measurement methods and BC use for source attribution studies, we reflect upon its significance in the environment, first by going over a theory that it could represent parts of what is called the ‘missing sink’ of carbon in global carbon cycle models. Elaborating upon the relationship of BC with polycyclic hydrocarbons, we show its significance for the sorption and transport of pollutants. A description of pulmonary-respiratory health effects of soot BC inhalation is followed by a discussion on its impact on climate and climate change. We explain how soot BC acts as a global warming agent through light (and heat) absorption and how it reduces the snow’s albedo and promotes its uncharacteristic thawing. On a more positive note, we conclude this review by illustrating recent observations and simulations of how pyrolytic processes can stabilize plant carbon stocks in the form of biochar BC that can sequester carbon and can help mitigate climate change, in addition to improving soil fertility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Pollution)
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Open AccessReview A Systems Dynamics Approach to Explore Traffic Congestion and Air Pollution Link in the City of Accra, Ghana
Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 252-265; doi:10.3390/su2010252
Received: 4 December 2009 / Accepted: 7 January 2010 / Published: 13 January 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economic development and urbanization poses myriad challenges to transportation systems in relation to negative externalities such as traffic congestion and environmental health risks. Accra, the capital of Ghana, faces mounting urban planning problems, for example traffic congestion, air pollution, traffic safety, and [...] Read more.
Economic development and urbanization poses myriad challenges to transportation systems in relation to negative externalities such as traffic congestion and environmental health risks. Accra, the capital of Ghana, faces mounting urban planning problems, for example traffic congestion, air pollution, traffic safety, and land use planning, among others. The paper aims to provide a system dynamics perspective of the problems. Most of the drivers and cause-effect relationships of traffic congestion and its attendant air pollution are investigated and analyzed using causal loop diagrams. The paper further suggests mechanisms by which the negative externalities associated with road transport in the city of Accra can be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Pollution)
Open AccessReview Comparative Studies on Vehicle Related Policies for Air Pollution Reduction in Ten Asian Countries
Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 145-162; doi:10.3390/su2010145
Received: 4 November 2009 / Accepted: 28 December 2009 / Published: 7 January 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (445 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Asian countries are facing major air pollution problems due to rapid economic growth, urbanization and motorization. Mortality and respiratory diseases caused by air pollution are believed to be endemic in major cities of these countries. Regulations and standards are the first requirement [...] Read more.
Asian countries are facing major air pollution problems due to rapid economic growth, urbanization and motorization. Mortality and respiratory diseases caused by air pollution are believed to be endemic in major cities of these countries. Regulations and standards are the first requirement for reducing emissions from both fixed and mobile sources. This paper emphasizes monitoring problems such as vehicle registration systems, inspection and maintenance (I/M) systems and fuel quality monitoring systems for vehicles in use. Monitoring problems in developing countries share similar characteristics such as a weakness in government initiatives and inadequate operation of government agencies, which results from a lack of human resources and availability of adequate facilities. Finally, this paper proposes a method to assure air quality improvements under the different shares of emission regulations in these Asian countries and introduces an example of an evaluation method based on a policy survey to improve air quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Pollution)
Open AccessReview Climate Change and Air Pollution: Exploring the Synergies and Potential for Mitigation in Industrializing Countries
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 43-54; doi:10.3390/su1010043
Received: 22 January 2009 / Accepted: 20 March 2009 / Published: 24 March 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (146 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Air pollutants such as tropospheric ozone and black carbon (soot) also contribute to the greenhouse effect. Black carbon is thought to be the second or third most important anthropogenic contributor to global warming, while troposheric ozone is the fourth most important. Both [...] Read more.
Air pollutants such as tropospheric ozone and black carbon (soot) also contribute to the greenhouse effect. Black carbon is thought to be the second or third most important anthropogenic contributor to global warming, while troposheric ozone is the fourth most important. Both are also major components of indoor and outdoor air pollution. This paper reviews the existing literature of the health, economic, and climatic impacts of tropospheric ozone and black carbon emissions, together with mitigation options. The local nature of many of the impacts, combined with their short atmospheric lifetime and the existence of cost-effective abatement technologies that are already widely deployed in developed countries means reducing these emissions provides a highly climatically-effective mitigation option that is also appropriate to the development strategy of industrializing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Pollution)
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