Air Quality in Spain and the Iberian Peninsula

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 May 2023) | Viewed by 7807

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Spanish Professional Association of Physicists, Madrid 28029, Spain
Interests: air quality; air pollution trends; aerosols; radiative transfer
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Chemistry and Physics, University of León, 24071 León, Spain
Interests: aerosols; aerosol–precipitation interaction; air quality; source apportionment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Meteorological and geographical factors are key to the evolution and fate of pollutants in the atmosphere. For this reason, pollutants must be studied in different spatial and temporal scales, from global to a few kilometres. The south of Europe presents very distinct characteristics in comparison with the north of the continent due to a drier and warmer climate and the presence of a remarkable dust load from Africa. Important contributions to the study of dust aerosol have taken place in Spain due to unique geographical conditions. This includes dust measurement and detection, modelling, and implications for urban air quality and health effects when dust aerosol interacts with local pollutants. In this Special Issue, we will focus on the state-of-the-art studies on air pollution in Spain and the Iberian Peninsula.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a major change in anthropogenic emission patterns that provided a unique opportunity to study physico-chemical pollutant properties under this altered scenario. Mobility restrictions marked a before-and-after scenario that must be studied in the next years. 

The journal Atmosphere dedicates this Special Issue to present the latest advances in air pollution and air quality studies in southwestern Europe, paying particular attention to the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The session is open for submissions of original results from field and controlled investigations, modelling, and review papers related to the topics exposed above.

Dr. Arantxa Revuelta
Dr. Ana Isabel Calvo Gordaliza
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • air quality
  • aerosols
  • Southwestern Europe
  • temporal evolution
  • COVID-19

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 4197 KiB  
Article
Short-Term Exposure to PM10 and Black Carbon in Residential Microenvironments in Bragança, Portugal: A Case Study in Bedrooms, Living Rooms, and Kitchens
by Yago Alonso Cipoli, Carla Alexandra Gamelas, Susana Marta Almeida, Manuel Feliciano and Célia Alves
Atmosphere 2023, 14(7), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14071064 - 23 Jun 2023
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Abstract
Several studies have evaluated PM concentrations in single specific microenvironments as a measure of exposure in the entire house. In this study, PM10 was monitored at the same time in three microenvironments (bedroom, living room, and kitchen) from three dwellings located in [...] Read more.
Several studies have evaluated PM concentrations in single specific microenvironments as a measure of exposure in the entire house. In this study, PM10 was monitored at the same time in three microenvironments (bedroom, living room, and kitchen) from three dwellings located in a small inland town of the Iberian Peninsula to assess whether exposure varies significantly between them. Real-time optical instruments and low-volume gravimetric samplers were employed. A multi-wavelength absorption instrument was used to determine black carbon (BC) concentrations on the filters. The Multiple-Path Particle Dosimetry Model (MPPD) was applied to evaluate the deposition of PM10 and BC in the airways of adults. For all dwellings, the highest PM10 concentrations were recorded in bedrooms (B1 = 22.7 µg m−3; B2 = 19.5 µg m−3; and B3 = 68.1 µg m−3). Houses 1 and 3 did not show significant differences between microenvironments. This did not happen in house 2, suggesting that ventilation is a determining factor for concentrations. BC originated mainly from fossil fuel emissions (90%), while biomass burning represented a minor contribution (10%). MPPD showed that PM10 is predominantly deposited in the head region (≥85% of the total dose), while BC is mainly deposited in the pulmonary region (14%). Higher doses were estimated for males than for females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in Spain and the Iberian Peninsula)
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25 pages, 4036 KiB  
Article
Footprints of COVID-19 on Pollution in Southern Spain
by Eszter Wirth, Manuel Alejandro Betancourt-Odio, Macarena Cabeza-García and Ana Zapatero-González
Atmosphere 2022, 13(11), 1928; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13111928 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2275
Abstract
Background: Many annual deaths in Spain could be avoided if pollution levels were reduced. Every year, several municipalities in the Community of Andalusia, located in southern Spain, exceed the acceptable levels of atmospheric pollution. In this sense, the evolution of primary air pollutants [...] Read more.
Background: Many annual deaths in Spain could be avoided if pollution levels were reduced. Every year, several municipalities in the Community of Andalusia, located in southern Spain, exceed the acceptable levels of atmospheric pollution. In this sense, the evolution of primary air pollutants during the March–June 2020 lockdown can be taken as reliable evidence to analyze the effectiveness of potential air quality regulations. Data and Method: Using a multivariate linear regression model, this paper assesses the levels of NO2, O3, and PM10 in Andalusia within the 2017–2020 period, relating these representative indices of air quality with lockdown stages during the pandemic and considering control variables such as climatology, weekends, or the intrusion of Saharan dust. To reveal patterns at a local level between geographic zones, a spatial analysis was performed. Results: The results show that the COVID-19 lockdown had a heterogeneous effect on the analyzed pollutants within Andalusia’s geographical regions. In general terms, NO2 and PM10 concentrations decreased in the main metropolitan areas and the industrial districts of Huelva and the Strait of Gibraltar. At the same time, O3 levels rose in high-temperature regions of Cordoba and Malaga. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in Spain and the Iberian Peninsula)
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15 pages, 5999 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Soot, Ash, Sand, and Haze on Snow Albedo in Sierra Nevada, Spain
by Sofía González-Correa, Magín Lapuerta, Rosario Ballesteros, Diego Pacheco-Ferrada, Lina Castro and Francisco Cereceda-Balic
Atmosphere 2022, 13(11), 1903; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13111903 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1575
Abstract
Snow covers are greatly affected by particles deposited on their surface. In this work, an experimental campaign was carried out in the Sierra Nevada (Granada, Spain). The optical effect of different contaminating particles on the snow covers was measured using a field spectroradiometric [...] Read more.
Snow covers are greatly affected by particles deposited on their surface. In this work, an experimental campaign was carried out in the Sierra Nevada (Granada, Spain). The optical effect of different contaminating particles on the snow covers was measured using a field spectroradiometric system composed of three upwelling spectroradiometers and three downwelling ones. Sand collected from a Mediterranean beach (Spain), ash collected from the La Palma volcano eruption, haze collected from an event that occurred in Spain, and soot collected from a diesel vehicle were employed for contaminating the snow. Soot, ash, and sand were analysed with X-ray diffraction to obtain their mineralogical composition or their structural characteristics, whereas haze's mineralogical composition was obtained from the literature. From this information, the refractive index of each material was weigh-averaged, considering the refractive indices of their components. After measurements, snow samples were filtered and weighted to evaluate the particle concentrations in the snow. Previous contamination with soot was observed due to the existence of a nearby road. Snow albedo was calculated with the OptiPar model. The experimental and modelled results show that contaminating with sand decreases the snow albedo in the visible range whereas it increases the albedo in the infrared range. However, the rest of the materials lead to a decrease in the albedo in the whole spectrum, although with different intensities depending on the wavelength range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in Spain and the Iberian Peninsula)
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50 pages, 1788 KiB  
Article
Classification and Prediction of Nitrogen Dioxide in a Portuguese Air Quality Critical Zone
by Vitor Miguel Ribeiro and Rui Gonçalves
Atmosphere 2022, 13(10), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13101672 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1488
Abstract
This study presents classification and prediction exercises to evaluate the future behavior of nitrogen dioxide in a critical air quality zone located in Portugal using a dataset, the time span of which covers the period between 1 September 2021 and 23 July 2022. [...] Read more.
This study presents classification and prediction exercises to evaluate the future behavior of nitrogen dioxide in a critical air quality zone located in Portugal using a dataset, the time span of which covers the period between 1 September 2021 and 23 July 2022. Three main results substantiate the importance of this research. First, the classification analysis corroborates the idea of a neutrality principle of road traffic on the target since the respective coefficient is significant, but quantitatively close to zero. This result, which may be the first sign of a paradigm shift regarding the adoption of electric vehicles in addition to reflect the success of previously implemented measures in the city of Lisbon, is reinforced by evidence that the carbon monoxide emitted mostly by diesel vehicles exhibits a significant, negative and permanent effect on satisfying the hourly limit value associated with the target. Second, robustness checks confirm that the period between 8 h and 16 h is particularly remarkable for influencing the target. Finally, the predictive exercise demonstrates that the internationally patented Variable Split Convolutional Attention model has the best predictive performance among several deep learning neural network alternatives. Results indicate that the concentration of nitrogen dioxide is expected to be volatile and only a redundant downward trend is likely to be observed. Therefore, in terms of policy recommendations, additional measures to avoid exceeding the legal nitrogen dioxide ceiling at the local level should be focused on reducing carbon monoxide emissions, rather than just being concerned about halting the intensity of road traffic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in Spain and the Iberian Peninsula)
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