[Press and Publications] Points of View Over Pollution [Environment; Chemistry]

April 2000

No 85

We are all familiar with fumes from cars and lorries in our city streets. But atmospheric pollution is more than just urban. On a good day in the 1960s, hill climbers in the Lake District would be confident of spectacular views and could look forward to seeing as far as Wales - but perhaps never again.

That is a sobering reality as regional as well as urban atmospheric pollution worsens, scientists gathering at the University of Leicester will hear on April 17.

Experts from across the UK will gather to discuss The Polluted Troposphere during the annual meeting of the Atmospheric Chemistry Specialist Group of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Convenor Dr Howard Roscoe, of the British Antarctic Survey, said: "Those of us with long enough memories can see how visibility has declined over the last 30 years. This is due to smog formation which now happens in almost the whole northern hemisphere, not just in places with special conditions like Los Angeles.

"In European cities in summer, enough ozone is produced in photochemical smog episodes to be a serious health hazard, but smog now also occurs in rural and mountain areas each spring and summer."

The University of Leicester has a special interest in this field where lecturer in physical chemistry, Dr Paul Monks, is leading investigations.

He said: "In recent times there has been much political and public interest in such topics as global warming, acid rain and ozone depletion. The research within the chemistry department is part of a wider interest in global geoscience within the Earth Observation Science (EOS) programme uniting several departments at Leicester.

"The aim of our research at the department of Chemistry is to understand photochemical processes, which occur throughout the atmosphere on a range of scales from local pollutants to globally distributed greenhouse gases."

Note to newsdesk: For more information, contact Dr Howard K Roscoe on 01223-221431 or Dr Paul Monks on 0116 252 2141.

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Last updated: 28 April 2000 11:21
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