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Professor Martin Williams

Ten years of the IAQM – lessons for air quality professionals. Professor Martin Williams. King’s College London. Dispersion Modellers User Group St Martins in the Field 5 December 2012. It’s not just one anniversary..... The first week in December is dangerous.

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Professor Martin Williams

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  1. Ten years of the IAQM – lessons for air quality professionals Professor Martin Williams King’s College London Dispersion Modellers User Group St Martins in the Field 5 December 2012

  2. It’s not just one anniversary.....The first week in December is dangerous In 1962 the smog peaked on 4 & 5 December, with 3-hour ‘smoke’ concentrations reaching 6000 µg/m3 at Islington in the evening of the 4th.

  3. Much Ado about Modelling • The play (Much Ado About Nothing) is all about deception and trickery • There are lessons for air quality professionals here....!

  4. What has happened in ten years? • Vehicle emission regulation in the EU has been shown to be flawed • Diesel car use has increased, as has the power of diesels • EU AQ Directive, NECD/CLRTAP compliance dates have come and gone (with extensions...) • Health effect evidence has strengthened and health impact assessments at local level are now accepted • Indications emerging regarding toxicity of PM components • PM is still the biggest issue: measurements still give problems • But AMS and other techniques giving rich information regarding sources and mechanisms for PM • AQ & CC links beginning to strengthen? SLCPs and the ‘Coalition’ at the global level • But antagonisms still persist at local level – better science can help here – Diesel, Biomass

  5. What has happened in ten years? • London Low Emission Zone, Congestion Charge – first examples of major non-technical measures (apart from Budgets...) • UK and London Mayor AQ Strategies published • UK LAQM reviewed – more emphasis on action rather than review and assessment? • EU AQ legislation review begun • Open source models are now widely used for regional modelling • Model performance and uncertainties are being quantified, and their use for policy is being addressed

  6. So what are the lessons from all this? • Keep questioning the received wisdom • Take nothing for granted • Policy measures need checking and evaluating – before it’s too late!

  7. The failure of Euro Standards for diesel cars/LGVs

  8. Why has this happened?-the regulatory test cycle is not dynamic/aggressive enough to reflect real-world driving

  9. The regulatory test cycle is not dynamic enough – comparison of RPA for different cycles From J.Demuynck et al, Energy Policy, 2012)

  10. LAQM-the future? • Set up in the 1995 Environment Act • Lots of R & As done, many AQMAs declared but little improvement in air quality • Maybe not surprising – LA influence is limited, what can LAs meaningfully do? • PM and LAs – if primary emissions turn out to be important, LA role increases • Many (most?) AQMAs cover tiny areas when a holistic management approach could be better • Co-ordination at local level needs improving (also at central level!) • Challenge for AQ professionals is that most available LA measures are ‘soft’ so hard to evaluate • Communicating AQ/Health messages is crucial

  11. Getting the message across

  12. Modelling developments in the last ten years • The big development has been the rise in open-source model use • But these are mesoscale models-they need some nesting to treat fine-scale urban problems satisfactorily • Double counting? Height of lowest grid cell? Mixing height vs Boundary Layer height? • The ‘own-square’ problem, always a tricky part of models (of all kinds) • Emission inventories are still a key weakness of models – as existing sources are controlled, and as science develops, new sources emerge, and inventories need critical appraisal

  13. Recommended reading - Anton Eliassens’s chapter – the weak points of ‘own-square’ calculation in large sophisticated models is not a new issue!

  14. Close co-operation at local level can help minimise antagonisms between AQ and CC policies

  15. Biomass/biofuels • Probably the most direct example of antagonisms between AQ and CC policies • Particularly in small scale combustion systems where combustion is less efficient and abatement is not possible or very difficult to deliver • The RHI needs to recognise this as do local AQM systems and powers • But good quality science will be needed here – measurements and modelling • And how much of the decarbonisation of the transport system will be from biofuel use compared with electric vehicles?

  16. New measurement techniques (e.g. AMS) will help identify biomass problems

  17. LAs can help make electric cars acceptable?!(picture taken in London 13 March 2012)

  18. Thank you!

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