Meteorological Synthesizing Centre - East (MSC-E)

is one of the international research Centres of the EMEP programme operating under the LRTAP Convention of UNECE.

The Centre focuses its efforts on model assessment of the environment pollution with various toxic substances.

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Contribution to UNEP Global Mercury Assessment

MSC-E continues cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment). A new Global Mercury Assessment 2018 is now under development in accordance with the request of the UN Environment Governing Council (Decision 27/12). MSC-E takes part in the assessment coordinating work of an international group of experts focused on modelling of mercury pollution on global and regional scales.

MSC-E/INM Technical Report 4/2006
"Assessment of lead pollution levels in Belarus with fine spatial resolution (EMEP case study)"

Country-specific case study on assessment of lead pollution levels in Belarus in 2012 is completed. This work was carried out in close cooperation with national experts form Institute of Natural Management of National Academy of Science of Belarus (INM). The experts from Belarus submitted a set of necessary input data for the work, including national emissions with fine spatial resolution (10x10 km2) and splitting to source categories, measured concentrations of lead in air at background station ‘Berezinskiy Reserve’ and at urban stations in Belarusian cities, and concentrations of lead in soils. The results were jointly analyzed by experts from Belarus and MSC-E.

Emission of lead (kg/km2/y) in 2012 in modelling domain including Belarus and surrounding areas (left) and location of monitoring stations (Pb in air) in the selected domain (right)

Spatial distribution of concentrations in air demonstrated gradient from the western and the south-western parts to the north-eastern part of the country. Deposition fluxes were distributed non-uniformly across the country. Higher deposition levels were noted for the south-western part of the country because of distribution of national emissions and atmospheric precipitation.

 

Annual mean concentrations in air (left) and total annual deposition (right) of lead with resolution 10x10 km2. Circles in map (a) mean observed air concentrations at monitoring stations


Contributions of three types of emission sources were assessed, namely anthropogenic sources, secondary sources within the EMEP region and sources located outside the EMEP domain (non-EMEP sources). The contribution of anthropogenic sources to total deposition to Belarus was 34%, secondary sources – 60% and non-EMEP sources – 6%. Regional-mean contribution of secondary sources to deposition ranged from 47% in the Brest region to 65% in the Mogilev region. The highest contribution of anthropogenic sources, both in relative and in absolute terms, was noted for the western part of Belarus making around 50% in the Brest and Grodno regions.

 


Deposition fluxes of lead to Belarusian regions in 2012 (left) and map of administrative regions of Belarus (right)

Contribution from foreign emission sources to anthropogenic deposition in Belarus made up 94%, and that from national sources – 6%. The main contributor to anthropogenic deposition to Belarus was Poland (52%), followed by Ukraine (11%) and Germany (3%). However, these contributions varied significantly across the country’s territory.

  


Contribution of national and foreign sources to anthropogenic deposition in Belarus (left) and spatial distribution of contribution of foreign sources to anthropogenic deposition in Belarus (right) in 2012


The highest contribution to deposition in Belarus from national sources came from emission source category ‘Iron and Steel Production’ (46%), followed by ‘Combustion in industries’ (21%),  ‘Electricity and Heat’ (15%) and ‘Other Chemical Industry’ (8%). However, the regional differences in contributions were substantial. The largest contribution of ‘Iron and Steel Production’ was noted for the Homel region (71%). ‘Combustion in Industries’ group was the main pollution source in the Grodno region (53%). The highest contribution of ‘Electricity and Heat’ and ‘Other Chemical Industry’ took place in the Vitebsk region (30% and 21%, respectively).

Spatial distribution of lead deposition from national sources and contributions of national emission source categories to anthropogenic deposition from national emissions in administrative regions of Belarus in 2012


Contribution to deposition of lead in Belarusian cities was distinguished between secondary and anthropogenic sources. Anthropogenic sources were considered as a sum of ‘external’ and ‘city’ sources. The main contributor to city pollution were secondary sources which contribution varied from around 40% to 65%. Among anthropogenic sources the major contribution to pollution in the cities was made by ‘external’ sources (75-96%), while the role of ‘city’ sources was comparatively low (4 – 25%).     

 

Deposition of lead in Belarusian capital cities in 2012 from different sources (left) and relative contribution of city, foreign and national external sources to anthropogenic deposition (right)


The comparison of modelled and observed air concentrations at the national background monitoring station ‘Berezinskiy reserve’ demonstrated that the observed levels were underestimated by the model. Possible reasons contributing to this discrepancy included uncertainties of the model, underestimation of the emission data and uncertainties of measurement data. For the analysis of heavy metal emission data in the EECCA counties joint efforts of national emission experts of these countries together with CEIP and TFEIP are required. Besides, in order to improve quality of measurements in the EECCA region, participation of national laboratories in the regular intercomparisons under the CCC supervision is appreciated. Finally, additional direction of the research could be focused on investigation of other pollutants in Belarus. It could help to understand if the considered situation is unique for lead or it is typical for other pollutants, for example, particulate matter or acidifying compounds

Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The active involvement of the countries of EECCA is imperative to the regional cohesiveness and effectiveness of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. Ensuring the implementation and ratification of the Convention and its protocols within this region has been highlighted by the Executive Body as a priority.

At its thirty-seventh session, the Working Group on Strategies and Review agreed on an action plan to involve EECCA countries in the work of the Convention. Later this Action Plan was revised in line with the recommendations of the “Saltsjöbaden III” workshop held in Gothenburg, Sweden, in March 2007. The Action Plan is aiming at:

- raising political profile of the Convention in the region;

- encouraging ratification of the Convention’s most recent protocols;

- increasing cooperation and exchange of information through expanding the modeling and monitoring activities;

- supporting the EECCA countries involvement in the activities of the Convention.

In line with the above-mentioned priorities, following projects and activities are now being implemented or have been already completed. >>>>

 

Information about levels of pollution in EECCA countries prepared MSC-E in 2019 in Russian

 

 

EMEP essentially contributes to the supporting of the CLRTAP Protocols on HMs and POPs. Particularly, it provides Parties to the Convention with necessary methodologies and guidance on the maintaining and reporting their emission inventories. Besides, EMEP develops air quality models and maintain monitoring network which help regularly provide Parties with information on levels of concentrations and deposition fluxes as well as transboundary transport of HMs and POPs.

Relevant articles of the HM and POP Protocols containing obligations of EMEP and Parties to the Convention are given below. Necessary documents and reported information on pollution can be found using the links in the texts.

 

PROTOCOL on HMs

Article 2
OBJECTIVE

The objective of the present Protocol is to control emissions of heavy metals caused by anthropogenic activities that are subject to long-range transboundary atmospheric transport and are likely to have significant adverse effects on human health or the environment, in accordance with the provisions of the following articles.

Article 3
BASIC OBLIGATIONS

5. Each Party shall develop and maintain emission inventories for the heavy metals listed in annex I, for those Parties within the geographical scope of EMEP, using as a minimum the methodologies specified by the Steering Body of EMEP, and, for those Parties outside the geographical scope of EMEP, using as guidance the methodologies developed through the work plan of the Executive Body [ECE/EB.AIR/87/add.1].

Article 6
RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND MONITORING

The Parties shall encourage research, development, monitoring and cooperation, primarily focusing on the heavy metals listed in annex I, related, but not limited, to:

(a) Emissions, long-range transport and deposition levels and their modelling, existing levels in the biotic and abiotic environment, the formulation of procedures for harmonizing relevant methodologies;

(b) Pollutant pathways and inventories in representative ecosystems;

(g) An effects-based approach which integrates appropriate information, including information obtained under subparagraphs (a) to (f) above, on measured or modelled environmental levels, pathways, and effects on human health and the environment, for the purpose of formulating future optimized control strategies which also take into account economic and technological factors;

Article 7
REPORTING

(b) Each Party within the geographical scope of EMEP shall report, through the Executive Secretary of the Commission, to EMEP, on a periodic basis to be determined by the Steering Body of EMEP and approved by the Parties at a session of the Executive Body, information on the levels of emissions of the heavy metals listed in annex I, using as a minimum the methodologies and the temporal and spatial resolution specified by the Steering Body of EMEP. Parties in areas outside the geographical scope of EMEP shall make available similar information to the Executive Body if requested to do so. In addition, each Party shall, as appropriate, collect and report relevant information relating to its emissions of other heavy metals, taking into account the guidance on the methodologies and the temporal and spatial resolution of the Steering Body of EMEP and the Executive Body.

Article 8
CALCULATIONS

EMEP shall, using appropriate models and measurements and in good time before each annual session of the Executive Body, provide to the Executive Body calculations of transboundary fluxes and deposition of heavy metals within the geographical scope of EMEP. In areas outside the geographical scope of EMEP, models appropriate to the particular circumstances of Parties to the Convention shall be used.

Detailed information on emissions, measurements and model assessment of pollution levels for the EMEP countries

 

PROTOCOL on POPs

Article 2
OBJECTIVE

The objective of the present Protocol is to control, reduce or eliminate discharges, emissions and losses of persistent organic pollutants.

Article 3
BASIC OBLIGATIONS

8. Each Party shall develop and maintain emission inventories for the substances listed in annex III, and shall collect available information relating to the production and sales of the substances listed in nnexes I and II, for those Parties within the geographical scope of EMEP, using, as a minimum, the methodologies and the spatial and temporal resolution specified by the Steering Body of EMEP, and, for those Parties outside the geographical scope of EMEP, using as guidance the methodologies developed hrough the work plan of the Executive Body.

Article 8
RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND MONITORING

The Parties shall encourage research, development, monitoring and cooperation related, but not limited, to:

(a) Emissions, long-range transport and deposition levels and their modelling, existing levels in the biotic and abiotic environment, the elaboration of procedures for harmonizing relevant methodologies;

(b) Pollutant pathways and inventories in representative ecosystems;

(c) Relevant effects on human health and the environment, including quantification of those effects;

(f) An effects-based approach which integrates appropriate information, including information obtained under subparagraphs (a) to (e) above, on measured or modelled environmental levels, pathways, and effects on human health and the environment, for the purpose of formulating future control strategies which also take into account economic and technological factors;

Article 9
REPORTING

(a) Each Party shall report, through the Executive Secretary of the Commission, to the Executive Body, on a periodic basis as determined by the Parties meeting within the Executive Body, information on the measures that it has taken to implement the present Protocol;

(b) Each Party within the geographical scope of EMEP shall report, through the Executive Secretary of the Commission, to EMEP, on a periodic basis to be determined by the Steering Body of EMEP and approved by the Parties at a session of the Executive Body, information on the levels of emissions of persistent organic pollutants using, as a minimum, the methodologies and the temporal and spatial resolution specified by the Steering Body of EMEP. Parties in areas outside the geographical scope of EMEP shall make available similar information to the Executive Body if requested to do so. Each Party shall also provide information on the levels of emissions of the substances listed in annex III for the reference year specified in that annex.

3. In good time before each annual session of the Executive Body, EMEP shall provide information on the long-range transport and deposition of persistent organic pollutants.

Detailed information on emissions, measurements and model assessment of pollution levels for the EMEP countries

Case studies of HM pollution assessment (EMEP/TFMM)

Scope

Assessment of heavy metal airborne pollution of the environment involves different aspects including estimates of atmospheric emissions, monitoring of pollution levels and application of chemical transport models. However, European-scale assessment is complicated by a number of factors. First of all, available regular measurements of heavy metals only partly cover the EMEP domain. Besides, estimates of heavy metal emissions are often characterized by significant uncertainty and unaccounted emission sources [ECE/EB.AIR/GE.1/2008/6]. In addition, modelling of heavy metal pollution includes parameterisation of the pollutants re-suspension with wind-blown dust which requires detailed gridded specific information and contains considerable uncertainty. In order to improve the assessment MSC-E and EMEP/TFMM organized special country-specific case study on a complex investigation of heavy metal pollution in one or a few EMEP countries involving all available information on European, national and local scales. The experience which will be gained in this case study could be applied to other EMEP countries.

Objectives
  • Detailed assessment of heavy metal pollution with fine spatial resolution
  • Evaluation of effect of spatial resolution on the assessment results
  • Analysis of factors affecting quality of pollution assessment
  • Improvement of the assessment means (model, measurements, emissions data) for EMEP region based on the experience gained in country-specific studies.
Participants

MSC-E, national experts, CCC, CCE. TFMM assists in the evaluation of the results of the Case studies. Currently the Czech Republic, Croatia, the Netherlands and Spain are involved in country-specific studies.

Approach

General scheme of the case study includes several steps. First of all, necessary initial data on emissions, monitoring, meteorological and geophysical information are prepared. These data are used as input to atmospheric transport model. The calculation results, model parameterizations, monitoring data, emission information are analysed in detail in co-operation with national experts. On the base of the results of the analysis the components (emissions, monitoring information, modelling) of the assessment is improved. New round of calculations have to be carried out and improved heavy metal pollution assessment for a country will be produced.

The activities under the case study are organized into six work packages:

WP1. Emission data preparation for modelling and analysis.
WP2. Collection and analysis of monitoring data for pollution assessment.
WP3. Preparation of input geophysical and meteorological data for modelling and modification of the model.
WP4. Atmospheric modelling.
WP5. Complex analysis of modelling results.
WP6. Improved model assessment of pollution levels in a country.

General description of each of the work package is given here. For each country-participant the Case Study programme differs depending on country`s requests and availability of initial information.

Expected output for a country

Depending on the availability of initial information and specific requests of a country-participant, items of output information for a country may differ. General country-related information can include the following:

  • Calculated concentrations and deposition with high (e.g., 10x10 km) spatial resolution
  • Contributions of administrative regions and neighbouring countries to pollution levels
  • Contributions of global sources to country`s pollution levels (for Hg)
  • Contributions of source categories to pollution levels
  • Contributions of large point sources to pollution levels
  • Critical loads exceedances maps
  • Simulations based on national future emission scenarios

 

 

Active cooperation between MSC-E and Spain in the field of the country-specific Case Study was started in 2011. Spain submitted to MSC-E large amount of national data on observed pollutant levels and meteorological parameters. Example of measured concentrations of lead in air at Spanish stations in 2007 is demonstrated in figure below.

 

Observed concentrations of lead at Spanish measurement stations in 2007

 

 

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