STUDY IMPROVES ENVIRONMENTAL ALERT MODEL
RESEARCHERS FOUND THAT AIR POLLUTION INDICES INCREASE WHEN THERE IS A VERY WIDE RANGE OF TEMPERATURE VARIATION WITHIN ONE DAY.
May 25, 2017
Members of a research team from the Poplar Technological Center (CTA) established that there are variables, derived from those used to diagnose the air pollution level, that are more important than others. This is a contribution to the predictive model that is currently used to declare environmental alerts.
Wind speed, relative humidity, temperature range (minimum and maximum), rather than the daily temperature average, are fundamental in order to determine the degree of pollution in the city. With regard to the temperature, the researchers determined that, when there is a very wide range of variation within the same day, the levels of pollution increase, due to an enclosure of the particles.
The objective of the group of academics is to reduce the serious pollution indices that Talca and other cities in the Region present in the winter. This study is part of a working group in a FIC-R project on the recovery and treatment of agricultural waste for the production of pellets and briquettes for heating.
The results of the study were published in the Atmospheric Environment journal, of high impact within the scientific community. In the paper, they indicated that the level of fine particulate matter during the winter in cities of Chile’s Central Valley is much greater than the one in developed European countries. According to Marco Yáñez, lead author of the paper, "Talca is among the most polluted cities in Latin America."
Thus, determining a most effective model in the prediction of environmental alerts could represent improvements in public health, because 41% of the inhabitants of the country is under the influence of pollution, according to the experts.
Yáñez noted that when the natural conditions make it difficult to solve the problem, human factors must be involved and, in that context, he welcomed the measures implemented by the government, such as the replacement of home stoves and the warning systems, but in his view, they are still insufficient. "We lack more awareness from the citizens and more control and enforcement of the rules."
The researchers suggested five measures to generate favorable changes in the short, medium and long term, including the replacement of stoves, the restriction of agricultural burning, educating the community about the use of the firewood, increase the research on air quality in cities from the Regions and "applying the research generated, which recognizes new considerations to determine environmental warnings and quality of the air," concluded Yáñez.
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