Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 March 2020) | Viewed by 65234

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Guest Editor
Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Na Šabatce 17, 143 06 Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: atmosphere; ambient air quality; atmospheric deposition; ground-level ozone; long-term trends and spatial patterns; air pollution assessment
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Dear Colleagues,

The Czech Republic (CR) is a Central European country with an infamous environmental pollution history and long-term problems due to heavy air pollution in the past. These were mostly due to emissions from burning poor-quality lignite of local provenience with very high contents of sulphur, used both for coal-powered thermal power plants and for local, domestic heating systems. Extremely high SO2 emissions adversely affected the health of the inhabitants and resulted in serious environmental damages, including spruce forest decline. Furthermore, emissions from high stacks of large power plants substantially contributed to pollution due to their long-range transport, causing acid rain and acidification of ecosystems in other European regions, such as Scandinavia.  The infamous “Black Triangle”, a border region situated between former Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Poland, was one of the most polluted areas of Europe at that time.

As a consequence of fundamental socioeconomic changes triggered by the so-called “Velvet Revolution” in 1989, including the introduction of a new legislation, the application of effective countermeasures in emission reduction, and the modernization of energy production and industry alongside with the extensive gasification of local heating systems, the overall situation in ambient air quality has improved substantially. An unprecedented reduction in SO2 emissions by about 90% has been recorded, accompanied by reductions in TSP (total suspended particles) and NOx. Nevertheless, new challenges have emerged in air pollution control, such as the presence of fine aerosol particles, ground-level ozone, benzo(a)pyrene, and various pollutants whose ambient air concentration currently extensively exceeds the legal limit values and is very difficult to manage, affecting a substantial part of the population and vast regions.

Atmosphere is hosting a Special Issue to showcase the changes in ambient air quality in the Czech Republic. I invite you to contribute articles to this Special Issue by reporting on observation-based and modelling studies related to the past and present ambient air quality in the Czech Republic. Solicited contributions include but are not limited to studies on long-term trends in ambient air pollutants and atmospheric deposition, emissions, and emission sources, transboundary, long-range, and regional-range transport of air pollutants, and behaviour of atmospheric pollutants in particular in the context of the on-going climate change. Articles on the impact of ambient air pollution on human health and environment, including vegetation and ecosystems in the Czech Republic, are also encouraged.

Dr. Iva Hůnová
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Long-term trends
  • Spatial patterns
  • Impacts on health
  • Impacts on environment

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 214 KiB  
Editorial
Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic
by Iva Hůnová
Atmosphere 2021, 12(6), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12060770 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
Ambient air quality in the present-day Czech Republic (CR), one of the two succession countries of Czechoslovakia post-1993, was perceived as a major problem with severe human health and environmental consequences, particularly between the 1970s and 1990s [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)

Research

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27 pages, 20853 KiB  
Article
High NO2 Concentrations Measured by Passive Samplers in Czech Cities: Unresolved Aftermath of Dieselgate?
by Michal Vojtisek-Lom, Miroslav Suta, Jitka Sikorova and Radim J. Sram
Atmosphere 2021, 12(5), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12050649 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3809
Abstract
This work examines the effects of two problematic trends in diesel passenger car emissions—increasing NO2/NOx ratio by conversion of NO into NO2 in catalysts and a disparity between the emission limit and the actual emissions in everyday driving—on ambient [...] Read more.
This work examines the effects of two problematic trends in diesel passenger car emissions—increasing NO2/NOx ratio by conversion of NO into NO2 in catalysts and a disparity between the emission limit and the actual emissions in everyday driving—on ambient air quality in Prague. NO2 concentrations were measured by 104 membrane-closed Palmes passive samplers at 65 locations in Prague in March–April and September–October of 2019. NO2 concentrations measured by city stations during those periods were comparable with the average values during 2016–2019. The average measured NO2 concentrations at the selected locations, after correcting for the 18.5% positive bias of samplers co-located with a monitoring station, were 36 µg/m3 (range 16–69 µg/m3, median 35 µg/m3), with the EU annual limit of 40 µg/m3 exceeded at 32% of locations. The NO2 concentrations have correlated well (R2 = 0.76) with the 2019 average daily vehicle counts, corrected for additional emissions due to uphill travel and intersections. In addition to expected “hot-spots” at busy intersections in the city center, new ones were identified, i.e., along a six-lane road V Holešovičkách. Comparison of data from six monitoring stations during 15 March–30 April 2020 travel restrictions with the same period in 2016–2019 revealed an overall reduction of NO2 and even a larger reduction of NO. The spatial analysis of data from passive samplers and time analysis of data during the travel restrictions both demonstrate a consistent positive correlation between traffic intensity and NO2 concentrations along/near the travel path. The slow pace of NO2 reductions in Prague suggests that stricter vehicle NOx emission limits, introduced in the last decade or two, have so far failed to sufficiently reduce the ambient NO2 concentrations, and there is no clear sign of remedy of Dieselgate NOx excess emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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19 pages, 11825 KiB  
Article
Characterization of PM10 Sampled on the Top of a Former Mining Tower by the High-Volume Wind Direction-Dependent Sampler Using INNA
by Irena Pavlíková, Daniel Hladký, Oldřich Motyka, Konstantin N. Vergel, Ludmila P. Strelkova and Margarita S. Shvetsova
Atmosphere 2021, 12(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12010029 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2257
Abstract
The PM10 concentrations in the studied region (Ostravsko-karvinská agglomeration, Czech Republic) exceed air pollution limit values in the long-term and pose a significant problem for human health, quality of life and the environment. In order to characterize the pollution in the region [...] Read more.
The PM10 concentrations in the studied region (Ostravsko-karvinská agglomeration, Czech Republic) exceed air pollution limit values in the long-term and pose a significant problem for human health, quality of life and the environment. In order to characterize the pollution in the region and identify the pollution origin, Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) was employed for determination of 34 elements in PM10 samples collected at a height of 90 m above ground level. From April 2018 to March 2019, 111 PM10 samples from eight basic wind directions and calm and two smog situations were sampled. The elemental composition significantly varied depending on season and sampling conditions. The contribution of three important industrial sources (iron and steelworks, cement works) was identified, and the long-range cross-border transport representing the pollution from the Polish domestic boilers confirmed the most important pollution inflow during the winter season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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19 pages, 2646 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Built-Up Area Geometry on PM10 Levels: A Case Study in Brno, Czech Republic
by Jiří Neubauer, Jaroslav Michálek, Karel Šilinger and Petr Firbas
Atmosphere 2020, 11(10), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11101042 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1980
Abstract
This paper presents a statistical comparison of parallel hourly measurements of particulate matter smaller than 10 μm (PM10) from two monitoring stations that are located 560 m from each other in the northern part of Brno City. One monitoring station [...] Read more.
This paper presents a statistical comparison of parallel hourly measurements of particulate matter smaller than 10 μm (PM10) from two monitoring stations that are located 560 m from each other in the northern part of Brno City. One monitoring station is located in a park, the other in a built-up area. The authors’ aim is to describe the influence of a built-up area geometry and nearby traffic intensity on modeling of PM10 pollution levels in the respective part of Brno. Furthermore, the purpose of this study is also to examine the influence of meteorological factors on the pollution levels; above all, to assess the influence of wind speed and direction, temperature change, and humidity change. In order to evaluate the obtained data, the following methods of mathematical statistics were applied: descriptive statistics, regression analysis, analysis of variance, and robust statistical tests. According to the results of the Passing–Bablok test, it can be stated that the parallel measurements of PM10 are significantly different. A regression model for PM10 pollution prediction was created and tested in terms of applicability; subsequently, it was used in order to compare measurements from both stations. It shows that in addition to the monitored meteorological factors, pollution levels are influenced mainly by traffic intensity and the geometry of the monitored built-up area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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30 pages, 11631 KiB  
Article
Benzo[a]pyrene in the Ambient Air in the Czech Republic: Emission Sources, Current and Long-Term Monitoring Analysis and Human Exposure
by Markéta Schreiberová, Leona Vlasáková, Ondřej Vlček, Jana Šmejdířová, Jan Horálek and Johannes Bieser
Atmosphere 2020, 11(9), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11090955 - 7 Sep 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4962
Abstract
This paper provides a detailed, thorough analysis of air pollution by benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) in the Czech Republic. The Czech residential sector is responsible for more than 98.8% of BaP, based on the national emission inventory. According to the data from 48 sites of [...] Read more.
This paper provides a detailed, thorough analysis of air pollution by benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) in the Czech Republic. The Czech residential sector is responsible for more than 98.8% of BaP, based on the national emission inventory. According to the data from 48 sites of the National Air Quality Monitoring Network, the range of annual average concentration of BaP ranges from 0.4 ng·m−3 at a rural regional station to 7.7 ng·m−3 at an industrial station. Additionally, short-term campaign measurements in small settlements have recorded high values of daily benzo[a]pyrene concentrations (0.1–13.6 ng·m−3) in winter months linked to local heating of household heating. The transboundary contribution to the annual average concentrations of BaP was estimated by the CAMx model to range from 46% to 70% over most of the country. However, the contribution of Czech sources can exceed 80% in residential heating hot spots. It is likely that the transboundary contribution to BaP concentrations was overestimated by a factor of 1.5 due to limitations of the modeling approach used. During the period of 2012–2018, 35–58% of the urban population in the Czech Republic were exposed to BaP concentrations above target. A significant decreasing trend, estimated by the Mann-Kendall test, was found for annual and winter BaP concentrations between 2008 and 2018. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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25 pages, 3610 KiB  
Article
Characterization and Source Identification of Elements and Water-Soluble Ions in Submicrometre Aerosols in Brno and Šlapanice (Czech Republic)
by Pavel Mikuška, Martin Vojtěšek, Kamil Křůmal, Martina Mikušková-Čampulová, Jaroslav Michálek and Zbyněk Večeřa
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070688 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
Submicrometre aerosol particles (particulate matter, PM1) were collected in two Czech cities (Brno and Šlapanice) during week campaigns in winter and summer of 2009 and 2010. The aerosols were analysed for 14 elements and 12 water-soluble ions using inductively coupled plasma–mass [...] Read more.
Submicrometre aerosol particles (particulate matter, PM1) were collected in two Czech cities (Brno and Šlapanice) during week campaigns in winter and summer of 2009 and 2010. The aerosols were analysed for 14 elements and 12 water-soluble ions using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry and ion chromatography techniques. The average PM1 mass concentration was 14.4 and 20.4 µg m−3 in Brno and Šlapanice, respectively. Most of the analysed elements and ions exhibit distinct seasonal variability with higher concentrations in winter in comparison to summer. The determined elements and ions together accounted for about 29% of total PM1 mass, ranging between 16% and 44%. Ion species were the most abundant components in collected aerosols, accounting for 27.2% of mass of PM1 aerosols, and elements accounted for 1.8% of mass of PM1 aerosols. One-day backward trajectories were calculated using the Hysplit model to analyse air masses transported towards the sampling sites. The Pearson correlation coefficients between individual PM1 components and PM1 mass and air temperature were calculated. To identify the main aerosol sources, factor analysis was applied. Six factors were identified for each locality. The following sources of PM1 particles were identified in Brno: a municipal incinerator, vehicle exhausts, secondary sulphate, a cement factory, industry and biomass burning. The identified sources in Šlapanice were as follows: a combustion source, coal combustion, a cement factory, a municipal incinerator, vehicle exhausts and industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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23 pages, 31551 KiB  
Article
High Resolution Air Quality Forecasting over Prague within the URBI PRAGENSI Project: Model Performance during the Winter Period and the Effect of Urban Parameterization on PM
by Jana Ďoubalová, Peter Huszár, Kryštof Eben, Nina Benešová, Michal Belda, Ondřej Vlček, Jan Karlický, Jan Geletič and Tomáš Halenka
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060625 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3786
Abstract
The overall impact of urban environments on the atmosphere is the result of many different nonlinear processes, and their reproduction requires complex modeling approaches. The parameterization of these processes in the models can have large impacts on the model outputs. In this study, [...] Read more.
The overall impact of urban environments on the atmosphere is the result of many different nonlinear processes, and their reproduction requires complex modeling approaches. The parameterization of these processes in the models can have large impacts on the model outputs. In this study, the evaluation of a WRF/Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx) forecast modeling system set up for Prague, the Czech Republic, within the project URBI PRAGENSI is presented. To assess the impacts of urban parameterization in WRF, in this case with the BEP+BEM (Building Environment Parameterization linked to Building Energy Model) urban canopy scheme, on Particulate Matter (PM) simulations, a simulation was performed for a winter pollution episode and compared to a non-urbanized run with BULK treatment. The urbanized scheme led to an average increase in temperature at 2 m by 2 C, a decrease in wind speed by 0.5 m s 1 , a decrease in relative humidity by 5%, and an increase in planetary boundary layer height by 100 m. Based on the evaluation against observations, the overall model error was reduced. These impacts were propagated to the modeled PM concentrations, reducing them on average by 15–30 μ g m 3 and 10–15 μ g m 3 for PM 10 and PM 2.5 , respectively. In general, the urban parameterization led to a larger underestimation of the PM values, but yielded a better representation of the diurnal variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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26 pages, 5076 KiB  
Article
Real-World Exhaust Emissions of Diesel Locomotives and Motorized Railcars during Scheduled Passenger Train Runs on Czech Railroads
by Michal Vojtisek-Lom, Jonáš Jirků and Martin Pechout
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060582 - 2 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5541
Abstract
The paper summarizes exhaust emissions measurements on two diesel-electric locomotives and one diesel-hydraulic railcar, each tested for several days during scheduled passenger service. While real driving emissions of buses decrease with fleet turnaround and have been assessed by many studies, there are virtually [...] Read more.
The paper summarizes exhaust emissions measurements on two diesel-electric locomotives and one diesel-hydraulic railcar, each tested for several days during scheduled passenger service. While real driving emissions of buses decrease with fleet turnaround and have been assessed by many studies, there are virtually no realistic emissions data on diesel rail vehicles, many of which are decades old. The engines were fitted with low-power portable online monitoring instruments, including a portable Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) spectrometer, online particle measurement, and in two cases with proportional particle sampling systems, all installed in engine compartments. Due to space constraints and overhead electric traction lines, exhaust flow was computed from engine operating data. Real-world operation was characterized by relatively fast power level transitions during accelerations and interleaved periods of high load and idle, and varied considerably among service type and routes. Spikes in PM emissions during accelerations and storage of PM in the exhaust were observed. Despite all engines approaching the end of their life, the emissions per passenger-km were very low compared to automobiles. Tests were done at very low costs with no disruption of the train service, yielded realistic data, and are also applicable to diesel-hydraulic units, which cannot be tested at standstill. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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9 pages, 2250 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Trends of Air Pollution at National Atmospheric Observatory Košetice (ACTRIS, EMEP, GAW)
by Milan Váňa, Adéla Holubová Smejkalová, Jaroslava Svobodová and Pavel Machálek
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050537 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2550
Abstract
The National Atmospheric Observatory Košetice operated by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute was established in 1988 as a station specializing in air quality monitoring at the background scale. The observatory is located in the free area outside of the settlement and represents the Czech [...] Read more.
The National Atmospheric Observatory Košetice operated by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute was established in 1988 as a station specializing in air quality monitoring at the background scale. The observatory is located in the free area outside of the settlement and represents the Czech Republic in various international projects. The objective of the present study is to detect the long-term trends of air quality at the background scale of the Czech Republic. The statistical method used for trend analysis is based on the nonparametric Mann–Kendall test. Generally, the results show that the fundamental drop in emission of basic air pollutants was reflected in the significant decrease in pollution levels. A most significant drop was detected for sulphur. No trend was found for NO2 in 1990–2012, but a visibly decreasing tendency was registered in the last 7 years. A slightly decreasing trend was registered for O3 in the whole period, but a slightly increasing tendency was found after 2006. More importantly, the number of episodes exceeding the target value for human health dropped significantly. The reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions was reflected in a statistically significant decrease of concentrations. Only isoprene, which is of natural origin, displays an inverse trend. Concentrations of elemental carbon (EC) and organic carbon (OC) dropped since 2010, but only for EC is the trend statistically significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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13 pages, 2483 KiB  
Article
Nanoparticle Number Concentration in the Air in Relation to the Time of the Year and Time of the Day
by Jáchym Brzezina, Klaudia Köbölová and Vladimír Adamec
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050523 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2717
Abstract
The paper analyzes suspended particles number concentrations of 61 size fractions (184 nm to 17,165 nm) in the air at a traffic location. The average course of the individual fractions was analyzed at various intervals – daily, weekly, monthly and annually, in the [...] Read more.
The paper analyzes suspended particles number concentrations of 61 size fractions (184 nm to 17,165 nm) in the air at a traffic location. The average course of the individual fractions was analyzed at various intervals – daily, weekly, monthly and annually, in the period between 2017 and 2019. The data was then used to calculate the arithmetic mean for all the fractions (MS Excel, R) and then using a proprietary web application, heatmaps were constructed. The obtained results showed significant differences in both the annual and daily variation of number concentrations between the individual fractions differing in particle size. In the case of the annual variation, one can see a greater variability of smaller particles, which is most likely due to the source of the actual suspended particles. Meteorological and dispersion conditions are found as important factors for suspended particle concentrations. These can lead to significant differences from year to year. However, a comparison between 2018 and 2019 showed that even though the average absolute number concentrations can differ between years, the actual relative number concentrations, i.e., the ratios between the individual fractions remain very similar. In conclusion it can be said that the difference between the number concentration variation of the size fractions depends on both the actual pollution sources (especially in the long-term, i.e., the annual variation) and the actual size of the particles, which plays a role especially in the short-term (daily, weekly variation). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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28 pages, 11766 KiB  
Article
Air Pollution Sources’ Contribution to PM2.5 Concentration in the Northeastern Part of the Czech Republic
by Radim Seibert, Irina Nikolova, Vladimíra Volná, Blanka Krejčí and Daniel Hladký
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050522 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3514
Abstract
This article focuses on the source apportionment of air pollution in a specific northeastern part of the Czech Republic. The research area, located around the city of Třinec, is significantly affected by a complex spectrum of air pollution sources, including local residential heating [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the source apportionment of air pollution in a specific northeastern part of the Czech Republic. The research area, located around the city of Třinec, is significantly affected by a complex spectrum of air pollution sources, including local residential heating (coal and wood burning), heavy industry (mainly iron and steel production), road traffic, and regional and long-range air pollution transport from the nearby cities, Poland, and other countries. The main pollution sources contributing to the total concentration of fine suspended particles (PM2.5) were evaluated on the basis of the measurements at three sites and on subsequent positive matrix factorization modeling. The six major air pollution factors were identified, and their relative and absolute contributions were quantified. The result of the study is that the most important current task of air protection is to reduce the residential emissions from solid fuels, which are responsible for approximately 50–60% of PM2.5 concentration, followed by the regional primary and secondary aerosol sources (up to 40% of the total PM2.5 aerosol mass). Lower contributions have been identified in the case of resuspended mineral and biogenic particles (15–20%), long-range (trans-European) air pollution transport (up to 10%), and heavy industry (up to 10% in the most affected location). A detailed discussion has been provided considering specific regional EC (elemental carbon)–OC (organic carbon) relations in the region with traditional coal-burning for household heating which complicate the interpretation of the PMF (Positive Matrix Factorization) results, especially due to the interference between the traffic, residential heating, and biogenic aerosol factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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20 pages, 32414 KiB  
Article
Air Quality in Brno City Parks
by Jiří Huzlík, Jitka Hegrová, Karel Effenberger, Roman Ličbinský and Martin Brtnický
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050510 - 15 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2840
Abstract
Parks embody an important element of urban infrastructure and a basic type of public space that shapes the overall character of a city. They form a counterweight to built-up areas and public spaces with paved surfaces. In this context, parks compensate for the [...] Read more.
Parks embody an important element of urban infrastructure and a basic type of public space that shapes the overall character of a city. They form a counterweight to built-up areas and public spaces with paved surfaces. In this context, parks compensate for the lack of natural, open landscapes in cities and thus have a fundamental impact on the quality of life of their inhabitants. For this reason, it is important to consider the quality of the environment in urban parks, air quality in particular. Concentrations of gaseous pollutants, namely, nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3), were measured in parks of Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic. Relevant concentration values of PM10 solids were determined continuously via the nephelometric method, followed by gravimetric method-based validation. The results obtained through the measurement of wind direction, wind speed, temperature, and relative humidity were used to identify potential sources of air pollution in parks. The “openair” and “openairmaps” packages from the OpenSource software R v. 3.6.2 were employed to analyze the effect of meteorological conditions on air pollution. Local polar concentration maps found use in localizing the most serious sources of air pollution within urban parks. The outcomes of the analyses show that the prevailing amount of the pollution determined at the measuring point most likely originates from the crossroads near the sampled localities. At the monitored spots, the maximum concentrations of pollutants are reached especially during the morning rush hour. The detailed time and spatial course of air pollution in the urban parks were indicated in the respective concentration maps capturing individual pollutants. Significantly increased concentrations of nitrogen oxides were established in a locality situated near a busy road (with the traffic intensity of 33,000 vehicles/d); this scenario generally applied to colder weather. The highest PM10 concentrations were measured at the same location and at an average temperature that proved to be the lowest within the entire set of measurements. In the main city park, unlike other localities, higher concentrations of PM10 were measured in warmer weather; such an effect was probably caused by the park being used to host barbecue parties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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21 pages, 11418 KiB  
Article
Detailed Assessment of the Effects of Meteorological Conditions on PM10 Concentrations in the Northeastern Part of the Czech Republic
by Vladimíra Volná and Daniel Hladký
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050497 - 12 May 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3061
Abstract
This article assessed the links between PM10 pollution and meteorological conditions over the Czech-Polish border area at the Třinec-Kosmos and Věřňovice sites often burdened with high air pollution covering the years 2016–2019. For this purpose, the results of the measurements of special [...] Read more.
This article assessed the links between PM10 pollution and meteorological conditions over the Czech-Polish border area at the Třinec-Kosmos and Věřňovice sites often burdened with high air pollution covering the years 2016–2019. For this purpose, the results of the measurements of special systems (ceilometers) that monitor the atmospheric boundary layer were used in the analysis. Meteorological conditions, including the mixing layer height (MLH), undoubtedly influence the air pollution level. Combinations of meteorological conditions and their influence on PM10 concentrations also vary, depending on the pollution sources of a certain area and the geographical conditions of the monitoring site. Gen1erally, the worst dispersion conditions for the PM10 air pollution level occur at low air temperatures, low wind speed, and low height of the mixing layer along with a wind direction from areas with a higher accumulation of pollution sources. The average PM10 concentrations at temperatures below 1 °C reach the highest values on the occurrence of a mixing layer height of up to 400 m at both sites. The influence of a rising height of the mixing layer at temperatures below 1 °C on the average PM10 concentrations at Třinec-Kosmos site is not as significant as in the case of Věřňovice, where a difference of several tens of µg·m−3 in the average PM10 concentrations was observed between levels of up to 200 m and levels of 200–300 m. The average PM10 hourly concentrations at Třinec-Kosmos were the highest at wind speeds of up to 0.5 m·s−1, at MLH levels of up to almost 600 m; at Věřňovice, the influence of wind speeds of up to 2 m·s−1 was detected. Despite the fact that the most frequent PM10 contributions come to the Třinec-Kosmos site from the SE direction, the average maximum concentration contributions come from the W–N sectors at low wind speeds and MLHs of up to 400 m. In Věřňovice, regardless of the prevailing SW wind direction, sources in the NE–E sector from the site have a crucial influence on the air pollution level caused by PM10. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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15 pages, 4192 KiB  
Article
Low-Cost Air Quality Sensors: One-Year Field Comparative Measurement of Different Gas Sensors and Particle Counters with Reference Monitors at Tušimice Observatory
by Petra Bauerová, Adriana Šindelářová, Štěpán Rychlík, Zbyněk Novák and Josef Keder
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050492 - 11 May 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 3855
Abstract
With attention increasing regarding the level of air pollution in different metropolitan and industrial areas worldwide, interest in expanding the monitoring networks by low-cost air quality sensors is also increasing. Although the role of these small and affordable sensors is rather supplementary, determination [...] Read more.
With attention increasing regarding the level of air pollution in different metropolitan and industrial areas worldwide, interest in expanding the monitoring networks by low-cost air quality sensors is also increasing. Although the role of these small and affordable sensors is rather supplementary, determination of the measurement uncertainty is one of the main questions of their applicability because there is no certificate for quality assurance of these non-reference technologies. This paper presents the results of almost one-year field testing measurements, when the data from different low-cost sensors (for SO2, NO2, O3, and CO: Cairclip, Envea, FR; for PM1, PM2.5, and PM10: PMS7003, Plantower, CHN, and OPC-N2, Alphasense, UK) were compared with co-located reference monitors used within the Czech national ambient air quality monitoring network. The results showed that in addition to the given reduced measurement accuracy of the sensors, the data quality depends on the early detection of defective units and changes caused by the effect of meteorological conditions (effect of air temperature and humidity on gas sensors and effect of air humidity with condensation conditions on particle counters), or by the interference of different pollutants (especially in gas sensors). Comparative measurement is necessary prior to each sensor’s field applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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10 pages, 1649 KiB  
Article
F-Gases: Trends, Applications and Newly Applied Gases in the Czech Republic
by Markéta Müllerová, Eva Krtková and Zuzana Rošková
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050455 - 30 Apr 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3183
Abstract
Emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases), which are used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances, have risen sharply since 1995. The rapid increase in F-gas emissions coupled with their global warming potential (GWP) has led to increased worldwide attention to monitoring emission levels and [...] Read more.
Emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases), which are used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances, have risen sharply since 1995. The rapid increase in F-gas emissions coupled with their global warming potential (GWP) has led to increased worldwide attention to monitoring emission levels and subsequently regulating the use of F-gases. These restrictions apply in particular to applications for which alternative technologies are available that are more economically efficient and have minor or no impact on the Earth’s climate system. This paper brings new information about changes in composition of consumed F-gases in the Czech Republic. Since no F-gases are produced in the country, data about F-gas consumption are obtained from three resources which give information about import and export. The paper also describes implementation of newly used F-gases, which are used as replacements for specific F-gases, into emission calculation models. Emissions are estimated according to the methodology developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Although consumption of F-gases with high GWP has already started decreasing, it will have no effect on F-gas emissions for several years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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15 pages, 3305 KiB  
Article
Dispersion Characteristics of PM10 Particles Identified by Numerical Simulation in the Vicinity of Roads Passing through Various Types of Urban Areas
by Jiri Pospisil, Jiri Huzlik, Roman Licbinsky and Michal Spilacek
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050454 - 30 Apr 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2885
Abstract
The dispersion of particulate matter emitted by road transport to the vicinity of roads is predominantly influenced by the character of the air velocity field. The air flow depends on factors such as the speed and direction of the blowing wind, the movement [...] Read more.
The dispersion of particulate matter emitted by road transport to the vicinity of roads is predominantly influenced by the character of the air velocity field. The air flow depends on factors such as the speed and direction of the blowing wind, the movement of cars, and the geometries of the buildings around a road. Numerical modeling based on the control volume method was used in this study to describe the relevant processes closely. Detailed air velocity fields were identified in the vicinity of a straight road surrounded by various patterns of built-up urban land. The evaluation of the results was generalized to exponential expressions, affecting the decrease of the mass concentration of fine particles with the increasing distance from the road. The obtained characteristics of the mass concentration fields express the impact of the building geometries and configurations on the dispersion of particulate matter into the environment. These characteristics are presented for two wind speeds, namely, 2 m·s−1 and 4 m·s−1. Furthermore, the characteristics are introduced in relation to three wind directions: perpendicularly, obliquely, and in parallel to the road. The results of the numerical simulations are compared with those obtained via the in-situ measurements, for verification of the validity of the linear emission source calculation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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Review

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26 pages, 15760 KiB  
Review
Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic: Past and Present
by Iva Hůnová
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020214 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 10241
Abstract
Based on an analysis of related core papers and reports, this review presents a historical perspective on ambient air pollution and ambient air quality development in the modern-day Czech Republic (CR) over the past seven decades, i.e., from the 1950s to the present. [...] Read more.
Based on an analysis of related core papers and reports, this review presents a historical perspective on ambient air pollution and ambient air quality development in the modern-day Czech Republic (CR) over the past seven decades, i.e., from the 1950s to the present. It offers insights into major air pollution problems, reveals the main hot spots and problematic regions and indicates the principal air pollutants in the CR. Air pollution is not presented as a stand-alone problem, but in the wider context of air pollution impacts both on human health and the environment in the CR. The review is arranged into three main parts: (1) the time period until the Velvet Revolution of 1989, (2) the transition period of the 1990s and (3) the modern period after 2000. Obviously, a major improvement in ambient air quality has been achieved since the 1970s and 1980s, when air pollution in the former Czechoslovakia culminated. Nevertheless, new challenges including fine aerosol, benzo[a]pyrene and ground-level ozone, of which the limit values are still vastly exceeded, have emerged. Furthermore, in spite of a significant reduction in overall emissions, the atmospheric deposition of nitrogen, in particular, remains high in some regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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1 pages, 175 KiB  
Erratum
Erratum: Hůnová, I. Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic: Past and Present. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 214
by Iva Hůnová
Atmosphere 2021, 12(6), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12060720 - 4 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1641
Abstract
Text Correction [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Quality in the Czech Republic)
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