Atmospheric Chemistry Research in New EU Countries

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Historically some of the new EU Member States and the Candidate countries experienced high levels of pollution in the past. Enhanced management measures were and are needed to improve the air quality. The present survey on the ongoing air chemistry research is in support to such measures and the incorporation of the EU environmental legislation in the air quality management of these countries. The aim of the survey is to list the current research activities on atmospheric chemistry in these countries, as well as groups and institutions involved in it. The air chemistry plays essential part of air quality and climate change modelling, energy industry planning and health risk assessments. In addition, the air quality monitoring networks and management are briefly discussed, as well as some information on the air pollution modelling research.

The ongoing research (field, laboratory and modelling) in the field of chemical transformation of trace compounds in the atmosphere is discussed here and parallels are drown among 10 of the new EU Member States and Candidate Countries, namely Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia. Laboratory studies traditionally emphasize on rate and equilibrium processes. Field studies are based on aircraft and surface measurements of reaction chemistry, advective influences on the chemical composition
of the atmosphere, and air-surface exchange processes. Both types experimental studies on atmospheric chemistry are demanding concerning equipment and resources. Therefore, most of the studies in the field are coming from international projects, EU, ESF or NATO funded. Modelling efforts address both chemistry and dynamics on regional and global scales. The analysis of research activities in those fields is made with regards of the current EU practice in the field and the historical frames in the ten countries of interest. The unique traditions and achievements in atmospheric chemistry research in these countries are pointed out. The participation of research teams in different projects and initiatives over the last 5-10 years of integration of these countries within the European Framework Programmes is surveyed.

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