Along with his stay at the French research center, Dr. Mauricio Osses participated in international conferences presenting the results of his work on polluting emissions from the transport sector.
The Prediction of Air Pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean (PAPILA) project, funded by the European Union and developed by experts from different countries in the region, aims to establish a collaborative network for the implementation of a system of analysis and forecast of air pollution levels in the main Latin American cities, evaluating its impacts on the health and economy of the population.
Within the framework of this initiative, during the months of June and July, the CCTVal researcher Mauricio Osses, who is also the director of Liaison with the Environment at the San Joaquín Campus and an academic at the USM Department of Mechanical Engineering, traveled to Toulouse, France, to carry out an internship at the Aerology Laboratory (LAERO) of the Midi-Pyrénées Observatory, of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) of that country.
“PAPILA corresponds to one of the initiatives that finance stays to and from Europe among the participating institutions. In particular, I am supporting Work Package 3, which focuses on studying surface emissions of pollutants, and my specialty is the emissions generated by transport activity in South American countries”, comments the USM representative in the program.
With its closure scheduled for October this year, the project has allowed the researcher to carry out three stays in Toulouse (2020, 2022 and 2023), which he considers valuable for strengthening alliances at a national and international level: “They have been very productive in terms of collaborative scientific publications, but they have also strengthened working relationships between centers in Europe and America, where collaboration between Latin American countries has stood out. The relationship between Chilean research centers such as CCTVal and (CR)2 is also important, facilitating instances to present interdisciplinary work teams and explore financing proposals”, indicates Dr. Osses.
Regarding the relevance of this type of project, the academic pointed out that “the carbon neutrality objectives, which many countries have declared, need to be evaluated and monitored with models of this type, to know if we will be able to meet the goals or if it is necessary to reinforce the current measures”, adding that “the problem of global climate change must be addressed in conjunction with air quality policies in specific cities or localities, considering the global and local simultaneously, providing useful information for atmospheric modeling and, finally, , contributing to the improvement of the health of the inhabitants in Chile and other neighboring countries”.
Congress in Brussels
Days before moving to Toulouse, the CCTVal researcher took advantage of his stay in Europe to participate in the 20th GEIA Conference, in Brussels, Belgium. The event, entitled “Towards mitigating air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions”, was held at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy.
With two co-authored papers and one as the main author, Dr. Osses participated in the conference presenting relevant results regarding emissions from the transport sector. “The name of my work is High-resolution spatial-distribution maps of roadtransport exhaust emissions in Chile, 1990–2020, and his findings correspond to the joint work he carried out as a CCTVal researcher and (CR) 2. They are annual estimates at the national level, covering 30 years for both Chile and Colombia, the results of which have recently been published in scientific journals”, he points out.
Back in Chile, the academic comments on what will be his main research topics in the field of polluting emissions, where he highlights the interest in exploring its trends for the next 30 years, considering the role of new technologies in mobility, local pollution and climate change.
“In more specific terms, I am interested in being able to combine the base methodologies that I have applied so far (bottom-up) with new satellite information (top-down), as a way to better understand the uncertainties associated with our estimates and to be able to take advantage of better recent spatial information available. We also want to take advantage of the high spatial and temporal granulometry of emissions to determine in greater detail the effects of these pollutants on the health of the most vulnerable population, in particular newborns and their mothers”, he indicates.
Additionally, he points out that another by-product of his project carried out at CCTVal combines the measurement of vehicular flows with artificial intelligence: “The high level of spatial disaggregation in which these emissions are reported was part of this investigation, which allows for quality modeling of air and estimate health impacts with greater precision than if we did only having information at the regional level. The measurement of vehicle flows in near-real time with AI continues its development and will allow the temporal disaggregation of these emissions to be improved ”, he concludes.