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Aerosols (also known as particulate matter) are still a considerable cause of health problems and premature mortality despite the air quality policy of recent years. Aerosols also have an adverse effect on nature and contribute to climate change. The origin of a third of all aerosols is not known and many questions remain about their composition and the particle size distribution. The arrival of new sensors and satellite information helps to better quantify the sources of atmospheric pollution and, as a consequence, enables to develop more efficient policies.
One of the issues of today concerns the origin of particulate matter in large cities like Berlin. Do they originate from the city itself, its surroundings or do they come from abroad? Last year, for instance, there were indications that the spring smog in Paris – which partly paralysed car traffic – was attributable to some extent to ammonia emissions in the Netherlands and Belgium. These ammonia emissions react in the atmosphere and become aerosols.
The new chair of Martijn Schaap in Berlin intensifies and reinforces a longstanding collaboration between TNO and the university.
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