Liz Coleman and Frank McGovern, August 2023
The impact of human activity since the Industrial Revolution has altered the environment, pushing its stability to critical limits, with real implications for societal, economic and environmental systems. The planetary boundaries framework has provided a powerful tool for communicating the individual and collective threats arising from unsustainable post-industrial development, yet actions and responses take place at regional, national and local levels.
Authors: Rita Hagan, Emma Markey, Jerry Clancy, Mark Keating, Aoife Donnelly, David O’Connor, Liam Morrison and Eoin McGillicuddy, July 2022
Non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) is a large category that until recently had not been widely researched in terms of its contribution of exhaust emissions to overall air pollution. The emissions from NRMM contribute significantly to air pollution. To lower emissions from NRMM and improve air quality, it is recommended that more data are collected from sectors such as rail, construction, and aviation, and from Transport Infrastructure Ireland. This research used the bottom-up approach of contacting NRMM owners and data holders to request data about their NRMM fleet and its fuel use.
Authors: John Eakins, Bernadette Power, Niall Dunphy and Gordon Sirr, April 2022
The EPA has highlighted air quality issues in urban centres in Ireland in recent years. Emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), attributable to the burning of solid fuels, such as coal, peat and wood, are a particular cause of concern. This research project aims to provide a deeper understanding of the sector using existing and new sources of data on solid fuel use. The development of a new data set based on a survey of household heating and fuel use will be the primary contribution.
Authors: Ajinkya S. Mane and Bidisha Ghosh, December 2021
The “Eco-HDV” research project evaluated the impacts of adaptation of eco-driving programmes in the Irish heavy-duty vehicle fleet, focusing especially on the freight sector. The research identified perceptions and awareness of eco-driving training, reviewed the best eco-driving practices and analysed the possibilities of adaptation of eco-driving programmes. The project generated guidelines for the implementation of eco-driving programmes and other measures to reduce vehicular emissions from the Irish heavy-duty vehicle fleet.
Authors: Julian Aherne, Kayla Wilkins and Hazel Cathcart, September 2021
Air pollution can have unacceptable impacts on the natural environment. In particular, elevated atmospheric nitrogen deposition can result in changes to the plant communities of natural and seminatural ecosystems, resulting in decreases in plant biodiversity. This project developed empirical critical loads of nutrient nitrogen for 17 Annex I habitats. The project analysis suggests that habitats within the Atlantic biogeographic region have critical loads at the low end or lower than existing UNECE recommended ranges for European habitats.
Authors: Michael Geever, Eve Daly and Aaron Golden, August 2021
Changing population trends, growing urbanisation and associated economic development increase pressure on our water resources. This project investigates the feasibility of using space-based observations of gravitational anomalies, obtained by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), to assess groundwater variations at a regional level across the island of Ireland. The report fully documents ways of accessing, processing and visualising GRACE gravitational anomaly data, and outlines a means to integrate data from NASA’s land surface model with data from the EPA’s HydroNet groundwater well network.
Authors: Jurgita Ovadnevaite, Chunshui Lin, Matteo Rinaldi, Darius Ceburnis, Paul Buckley, LizColeman, Maria Cristina Facchini, John Wenger and Colin O’Dowd, July 2021
The project successfully established the AEROSOURCE network, comprising three sophisticated aerosol mass spectrometer nodes positioned in strategic locations: Carnsore Point (regional background), Dublin (urban environment) and Mace Head (marine background). It enhanced the National Transboundary Air Pollution Network with near real-time aerosol chemical speciation (including organic matter) and source apportionment capabilities.
Authors: Meabh Gallagher, Bidroha Basu, Bidisha Ghosh, Md. Saniul Alam, Laurence Gill, BalzKamber and Aonghus McNabola, February 2021
Research was conducted to assess the contribution of diesel vehicle emissions to the concentrations of PM2.5 in Dublin. The major source identified was solid fuel burning, contributing 46-50% of the total mass recorded. The 2nd largest contributor at a roadside site was diesel vehicle emissions (22%) followed closely by road dust (19%). The 2nd largest source at a suburban site was soil (20%) followed closely by sea spray (14%).
Authors: Damien Martin and Colin O’Dowd, January 2021
The Atmospheric Composition and Climate Change (AC3) network is an established national research and monitoring infrastructure developed incrementally. It monitors greenhouse gases, short-lived climate forcers, and aerosol chemical and physical characteristics in line with best practice from pan-European and global monitoring programmes. This fellowship has enabled and sustained scientific operations for a national monitoring network.
Authors: Damien Martin and Colin O’Dowd, November 2020
The Atmospheric Composition and Climate Change network is a valuable established national research and monitoring infrastructure. This fellowship has enabled and sustained scientific work on a national monitoring network. Infrastructure has been continually developed over the course of the fellowship that will facilitate long-term sustainable measurements.
Author: Mohammad Ibrahim Khalil, July 2020
This project aimed to inform efforts at combating climate change as a core national priority in the pursuit of a sustainable, low carbon economy in compliance with international obligations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and air pollutants and increase soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration.
Authors: Jana Preißler and Colin O’Dowd, July 2020
The power of remote sensing lies in its ability to automatically and continuously characterise parts of the atmosphere that can be far away from the sensor, e.g. at high altitudes from the ground in the case of this study. This fellowship focused on continuous high-resolution (vertical and temporal) profiling of the atmosphere over Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station using active and passive ground-based remote sensing techniques.
In this research project, the contribution of residential solid fuel burning to ambient levels of wintertime PM2.5 was determined in the towns of Killarney, Enniscorthy and Birr. The results show that the burning of peat, coal and wood for home heating is by far the largest source of PM2.5 air pollution in these locations., June 2020
In this research project, the contribution of residential solid fuel burning to ambient levels of wintertime PM2.5 was determined in the towns of Killarney, Enniscorthy and Birr. The results show that the burning of peat, coal and wood for home heating is by far the largest source of PM2.5 air pollution in these locations.
Authors: Ole-Kenneth Nielsen, Marlene S. Plejdrup, Henrik G. Bruun, Steen Gyldenkærne and Jesper H. Christensen, May 2020
This research developed a state-of-the-art integrated model system to map emissions for Ireland’s emission inventories of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Based on a variety of spatial and statistical data, the MapEIre model produced detailed spatial emissions at a resolution of 1 km × 1 km.
Authors: Darius Ceburnis, Colin D. O’Dowd, Stephen G. Jennings and Margaret Ryan, December 2019
This fellowship project supports extensive research efforts on particulate matter (PM) studies in Ireland and at Mace Head station, particularly for building a knowledge base and establishing and sustaining long-term measurement series at the station.
Authors: Darius Ceburnis, Colin D. O’Dowd and Margaret Ryan, November 2019
This fellowship enabled and sustained scientific operations at Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station. The advanced method of dual carbon isotope analysis will allow better identification of natural and anthropogenic source contributions, which is essential for quantifying human-induced global climate change.
Authors: Celine McInerney, Ellen O’Connor, Bernadette Power, Paul Deane and Tom McDermott , May 2019
Reforms to the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in Phase IV create a potential risk to industrial competitiveness in the power generation and heavy industry sectors through increased costs. The costs may be directly linked to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions via European Union Allowances (EUAs) or may be indirect via increased energy costs.
Authors: Aoife Donnelly, Bruce Misstear and Brian Broderick, March 2019
Air pollution is the primary environmental cause of premature death in the EU (EC, 2013) and the most problematic pollutants across Europe have consistently been oxides of nitrogen [e.g. nitrogen dioxide (NO2)], particulate matter (e.g. PM10, PM2.5) and ozone (O3).
Authors: John Sodeau, David O’Connor, Patrick Feeney, Michael Quirke, Shane Daly, Mehael Fennelly, Paul Buckley, Stig Hellebust, Eoin McGillicuddy and John Wenger, February 2019
This report presents a description of field and laboratory studies directed towards understanding the time behaviours of sources, removal pathways and number concentrations of airborne fungal spores and pollen.
Authors: Donal Keane, Suresh Pillai, Lorraine Gibson, Justin Holmes and Michael Morris, September 2017
EPA Research Report 226 on An Investigation into Air Purification of Malodorous Methyl Mercaptan by Photocatalysis and Adsorption