Air quality is a litmus test for climate change – changes in climate can result in impacts to local air quality and, conversely, air quality can impact climate change. Scientific tools and monitoring are key to enhance local decisions to protect air quality and to reduce the impacts of a changing climate.

Glasgow drastically reduces emissions

Projects including the opening of the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre have helped Glasgow reduce its carbon emissions by 41% since 2006 – surpassing the 30% target set for 2020.

The centre, which became fully operational in 2019, delivers savings of 90,000 tonnes of CO2 per year by extracting recyclable material from waste and generates enough energy to power 22,000 homes city-wide.

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Monitoring greenhouse gas emissions in real-time

A network of 25 sensors installed across Glasgow schools will monitor levels of carbon dioxide in the city’s air, which contributes to climate change. They will be installed by scientists from the University of Strathclyde as part of a trial to provide Glasgow City Council, for the first time, with real-time information on emissions of CO2 and other gases in the city’s air. Providing insight into the near-immediate impact of policy decisions and help measure progress against the city’s target to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The trial is being undertaken as part of the Global Environmental Monitoring and Measurement (GEMM) project, a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), The Optical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Met Office and the National Physical Laboratory.

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Improving air quality in Scottish cities

Poor air quality has profound negative impact on human health. Scotland’s first low-emission zone was launched in Glasgow in 2018.

The Statistics and Data Analytics group has an integrated thematic approach to the statistical modelling of air and water environmental data. The statistical emulator for the complex urban air quality model (ADMS) has enabled SEPA to quantify the compliance failure risk to national and international air quality regulations under different emission and transport scenarios.

Scotland’s National Modelling Framework incorporated this emulator in the design, development and evaluation of low emission zones (LEZ) in Scottish cities. Statistical modelling by the Statistics and Data Analytics group is also changing governmental policy through its public health evaluability assessment of the LEZ’s.

£21 million digital project involving regional universities aims to decarbonise dairy industry

A £21 million digital project involving the University of the West of Scotland and University of Strathclyde, aiming to create 600 new jobs is set to help decarbonise South-West Scotland and Cumbria’s dairy industry.

The Digital Dairy Value-Chain, led by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), could generate an additional £60m a year for a region which yields nearly two billion litres of milk annually.

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Flagship college helps cut carbon emissions

City of Glasgow College has invested in equipment to compost an estimated 26 tonnes of food waste per year, on site.

The new process will see food waste processed through their dewatering system, before the substance is fed into the composter to create a nutritious compost resource, in 14 days.

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