What We Do
This novel and unique “AIRPUR” FRQNT cluster on Air pollution research and technology is the first of its kind in Québec, Canada, focusing on cold-climate urban regions, specifically the greater metropolitan area of Montreal, home to nearly half of Québec’s population. AIRPUR’s mission is to address the urgent need to improve air quality. providing scientific and technological solutions to major identified air pollution problems, particularly in cold-urban regions
Urban atmospheric emissions contribute ~50% to 80% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions (Satterthwaite, 2008) as well as airborne particles or aerosols, including small nanoparticles, and those consisting of manufactured emerging contaminants. Both the International Panel on Climate Change and the World Health Organization concurred that the lack of physical-chemical understanding of air pollutants, specifically in particulate form, is their main knowledge gap.
Montreal’s atmospheric environment is often characterized by meteorological inversions that trap pollutants, particularly aerosols that are emitted by automobiles and other industrial sources, among others. Montreal is vulnerable to the negative health effects of aerosols or smog events. The micrometeorological effects of the varying land surface environments of the region impact the occurrence and intensity of air pollution.
Montreal receives ~2.1 m of snow, during ~ 5 months a year (vs. ~1.2 m/yr. for Toronto & Moscow), which makes it a unique metropolis in the world, a “living laboratory” for the AIRPUR cluster to perform cutting-edge air quality research, technology and policy, with added expertise in urban cold climates.