High air pollution is currently (March 19, 2015) being measured across a number of regions in England and Wales. This is due to pollution brought in via winds from the continent and particulate matter from a combination of local sources, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said today.
The UK has seen elevated levels of air pollution since Tuesday, March 17 mainly due to high pressure dominating over the country, which means a lack of wind and atmospheric circulation which would normally disperse pollution.
UK Met Office explains:
"Levels we have seen over the past few days and today are by no means unusual – we expect to see conditions similar to this several times a year.
The air pollution is also nowhere near record levels – in fact, we saw higher levels than this during a period of poor air quality at about the same time last year.
It’s also worth noting that the current air quality issues don’t fit any scientific definition of smog – which is a term which describes a mixture of smoke and fog.
There’s no fog around at the moment and smoke would only be a tiny fraction of any contribution to the poorer air quality we’re currently seeing.
The main effects of the current conditions will be felt by individuals with existing heart or respiratory conditions, who may experience increased symptoms. More health advice is available online on Defra’s air quality pages."
Levels are expected to fall later today with moderate or low levels predicted tomorrow as changes in weather conditions lead to the dispersal of pollutants. Levels in London and the South East are already down to moderate and are expected to be reporting lows by tomorrow.
Featured image: Early morning mist smog in Canary Wharf, London on March 14, 2014. Author: Matt Buck (CC – Flickr)
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