Measurements in the Western Balkan Peninsula – GLWF 2022
The GLWF team (Green Light World Flight), whose head of research is Prof. Dr. Griša Močnik from the University of Nova Gorica, have carried out numerous measurements of air pollution over the Western Balkans region in recent months.
Particulate air pollution is responsible for 7 to 8 million premature deaths globally. Although Europeans believe this to be a problem of developing countries, serious problems are much closer to home. Energy poverty forces people to use furnaces that cause severe air pollution in Europe as well. In Southeast Europe, air pollution is responsible for 1 in 10 deaths.
Measurements on the ground cannot characterise the regional dispersion of pollutants and distribution across the basins where people live. This is why in January 2022, we carried out measurements of black carbon and the optical properties of aerosols over Slovenia and Croatia, and especially over Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
Concentrations in the mixing layer above the ground were shown to be much higher than expected. The heterogeneity of the concentrations is greater, which means that the basins are much more affected than open areas. Much depends, of course, on local emissions from furnaces, traffic and industry. The latter remains an important polluter in the region.
We confirmed the results of preliminary measurements on the ground, where we saw that the composition in the basins depends on local sources of pollution. The measurements will continue during the SAAERO project in Sarajevo in 2022 and 2023, which will be carried out by the University of Nova Gorica in association with the Federal Hydro-Meteorological Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
All these measurements will serve as input and validation data for regional models of climate change and the dispersion of pollutants.