Wet weather means cleaner olympics
The UK’s much lamented wet weather could be an unexpected plus for the Olympics. It could deliver one of the least polluted Games in history, according to University of Manchester researchers involved in the LWEC- accredited Urban Atmospheric Science: Clean Air for London Project. (Clearflo)
Atmospheric scientists have been measuring carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and aerosol levels around London.They have found that the long periods of stormy weather and low pressure this Summer have resulted in excellent air quality.
If the wet weather continues, the London Olympic Games will be one of the cleanest in recent times.
The Natural Environment Research Council led project has seen collaboration between scientists, the Met Office and UK agencies to monitor air and ground pollution levels over the past two years to provide long-term measurements of London’s urban atmosphere.
Early results have shown that lengthy periods of low pressure which have affected the UK for much of the summer have meant that pollution has not settled over the capital but instead has been moved offshore. High pressure areas, typical of warm, sunny weather, trap in pollution and do not allow it to leave.
Dr Grant Allen from The University of Manchester, took to the skies in one of the UK’s dedicated research aircraft which can provide real-time data on pollution levels,
“We are monitoring the pollution levels closely during the Games to look for a tell-tale shift in the pollution regime. As a result of this combined study, we hope to be able to more accurately predict air quality for London in the future, as well as a better understanding of how London pollution affects those downwind.With more accurate predictions, we can hope to mitigate the known health impacts associated with poor air quality. The Olympics provide an excellent case study for us as traffic levels and activity are being closely monitored and quantified."