In a previous post, I have documented seasonally persistent air pollution in Europe during the first month of 2018. A notable feature is that persistent air pollution has been evident mainly in Eastern Europe countries in winter.
In this post, I would briefly overview the air pollution in Europe over the past two weeks, from February 4, 2018 (Sunday) to February 17, 2018 (Saturday).
On February 4,2018, air quality was good in western Europe but poor in eastern Europe. Since February 5, 2018, harmful air pollution had spread to almost all areas in Europe and persisted for five days. As shown on the real-time Air Quality Map, the unhealthy air pollution pattern was persistently visible across nearly all countries in Europe from February 5 to February 9, 2018. Air quality in western Europe seemed to be improved for several days thereafter, but became poor once again on February 16 and 17, 2018.
On the Air Quality Map, the orange and yellow patterns suggested moderate air pollution with PM2.5 concentration ranging between 50 ug/m3 and 80 ug/m3. The scarlet patterns suggested unhealthy air pollution with PM2.5 concentration higher than 150 ug/m3. Very unhealthy air pollution patterns with PM2.5 concentration at around 200 ug/m3 were also visible in some eastern Europe countries.
Although relevant data were not available for Ukraine and Belarus, it could be assumed that air quality in the two nations was also poor in winter, given heavy air pollution across their nearly countries in eastern Europe. A previous report has also suggested significant air pollution in the two nations.
Looking back to European air pollution patterns over past three months, the pan- or near-pan-Europe air pollution patterns were also evident from time to time, though not persistent. For example, the pan-European air pollution pattern was visible from January 9 to January 15, 2018.
As reported in media news, most countries in Europe are taking measures to mitigate air pollution. A news report even warned that nine European countries including the UK could face legal action if they fail to make progress on reducing air pollution. The pan-European air pollution patterns suggest that it may be a big challenge for western European countries. If air pollution in some areas or countries is not substantially reduced, the measures against air pollution in other areas or countries may not be effective.