The main goal of the project is to improve the current level of predictability of the air quality in Croatia over scales ranging from individual point source to urban-regional scales. Until now, there were only a few scientific studies addressing the meteorological aspects of air quality modeling over Croatia. According to their approach, these may be divided into three groups employing: (1) Gaussian plumes; (2) Lagrangian particle stochastic dispersion; and, (3) Long-range transport models. Though modeling approach (1) is widely used in Croatian practice, it is not applicable to either inhomogeneous complex terrain (such as the Greater Zagreb area or industrialized areas of Adriatic coast, for example), or specific pollution episodes (since it gives an average estimate). Furthermore, like (2), (1) does not incorporate either chemical transformations of airborne pollutants, or pollutant deposition. On the other hand, the last approach (3) is unable to predict pollution levels at smaller spatial-temporal scales, such as local or urban. Therefore, there is a need for establishment of a plausible coupled meteorology-chemistry modeling system which is applicable to both smaller scales and inhomogeneous areas with complex topography. The project will make use of existing and new data sets in order to improve the understanding of processes affecting airborne pollutants. Particular emphasis will be given to investigation of the dynamic structure and turbulent characteristics of airflows over complex terrain, and to contributions of traffic and industry related sources to the air quality. The roles of specific weather conditions, such as thermally induced up- and down-slope, and, sea- and land-breeze local circulations, bora and sirocco winds etc. in the fate of airborne pollutants will also be examined. Modeled results will be verified through comparison with measurement data available, while empirical results will be compared with results of other worldwide studies. The project will improve predictability of the air quality in Croatia on smaller scales. It will also produce policy-relevant scientific results regarding assessment of the atmospheric pollution due to the currently most important individual emission sources (the oil refineries in Rijeka and Sisak, for example), and planned future sources (e.g., the thermal waste treatment plant in Zagreb) under various meteorological conditions.

The project is founded by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports  (grant 119-1193086-1323).

Project duration: 2 January 2007 - 1 January 2010