About this Research Topic
Improving air quality in urban environments is one of the top environmental challenges worldwide. Of great concern is the increase in fine atmospheric particulate matter (PM) emissions and atmospheric concentrations in particular. Despite extensive research and substantive efforts and mitigation measures taken, studies report an increase in fine PM rather than a decrease. In addition, besides their mass concentration and particle size, the chemical composition and especially the concentration of potentially toxic metals of PM play a decisive role in the assessment of atmospheric pollution and its hazards to human health. To improve air quality and provide sustainable urban planning and tailored mitigation measures, it is important to trace the sources, formation and transport pathways of fine PM.
This research topic aims to bring together researchers from a broad range of disciplines focussing on various types of air pollutants, different analytical methods and data analysis tools. One focus will be on pollutants with negative health effects on humans, such as various metals (e.g. Cd, Zn, Hg) and poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), or with a high impact on radiative forcing and climate change, such as black carbon (BC) and brown carbon (BrC). Additionally, different techniques applied for PM monitoring will be assessed in this research topic, such as online (e.g. TEOM, aethalometer) and offline (e.g. filter-based methods) measurements, sensor-based monitoring, remote sensing from ground-based stations, unmanned automated vehicles (UAVs) or earth observation satellites. Besides well-established methods, we also encourage the publication of novel methods for fine PM monitoring and data analysis. Furthermore, applications using different numerical models for calculating fine PM sources and transport pathways will complete this overview.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Monitoring of fine PM (PM1, PM2.5) and their chemical composition
• Novel approaches for air quality assessment
• Toxicity and oxidative potential of atmospheric PM
• Improving source apportionment
• Monitoring of metal concentrations in fine PM
• Light absorbing carbonaceous species such as black and brown carbon (BC, BrC)
• Modelling of PM distribution and pathways
• Remote sensing for PM monitoring
• Novel approaches of PM data analysis and data fusion
Dr. Stefanie Schrader is employed by Hensoldt Optronics GmbH in Oberkochen, Germany. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.
Photo credit: Dr Nina Schleicher
Keywords: Air quality, air pollution, fine particulate matter, PM2.5, PM1, urban PM, remote PM, metallic particles, Hg, BC, BrC, source apportionment, atmospheric remote sensing, atmospheric modelling
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.