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Prediction of extreme ozone levels in Barcelona, Spain


Barcelona is one of the most polluted cities in Western Europe, although our levels of air pollution are within the World Health Organisation air quality guidelines. However, high concentrations of air pollution have not been studied yet. Ground ozone levels is a topic of considerable environmental concern, since excessive level of ozone are taken as indicative of high pollution. In terms of the air quality guidelines ozone levels higher than 100 µg m−3 can start to be health-hazards for human health. Our objective is to report a detailed analysis of ozone data exceeding the thresholds established by the air quality guidelines. Data analysed were collected in two measurement stations in Barcelona, for the reference period 1991–1996. Applying statistical techniques commonly used in the analysis of extreme values, mainly the Peak Over Threshold method was used for in this study. The analysis reveal that the ozone threshold values for the protection of human health has exceeded many times in both stations. The estimated return values for 3, 10, and 40 yr exceed the threshold value for information to the public of almost once in both stations, also it seems to be unlikely that the threshold value for warning to the public will be exceeded in 40 yr.

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Correspondence to Aurelio Tobías.

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Tobías, A., Scotto, M.G. Prediction of extreme ozone levels in Barcelona, Spain. Environ Monit Assess 100, 23–32 (2005).

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  • exceedances
  • ozone
  • ozone levels
  • peak over threshold method