AiREAS partner Scapeler processes our data for visualization. Recently this initiative shows also the European perspective. For years we argued about the fireworks rituals in Eindhoven and the tremendous environmental and human safety/health impact. The picture below shows the air quality (purple is deadly dangerous) in North West Europe at Newyear’s midnight (23:00 is GMT so one hour different from de rest of Europe)
Here you can see the time laps video of the data that night.
With our current knowledge of the effects of pollution on people with health problems it is immoral to do such rituals. Many people have no choice and are affected by unnecessary lethal exposure. The extend of the problem is clearly shown by the data visualization. There are so many healthy, social integration rituals, that it is inconceivable that Europe continues with this.
Three years in a row we have been able to look at our air pollution while celebrating the new year with the tradition of fireworks. We use our fine maze measurement network that was installed in December 2013. The first newyear was 2013/2014. The weather was miserable. It was rainy and windy. The related fireworks peak was therefor sharp high but disappeared rapidly again.
During newyear 2014/2015 the weather type was totally different. It was a quit and clear evening/night with hardly any wind. The fireworks could be lit from 18:00 onwards. A huge peak appeared that lasted for 16 hours. Partner Scapeler made a film of it:
This newyear the weather develop similar to the year before.
Clear and quit night in Eindhoven 31.12.2015
We expected a new long peak again but the contrary was true. The measurements were much more like the first year. This was surprising.
What justified the rapid disappearance of the peaks. Only direct observation could perhaps provide clues. As it seemed this year there were two reason to justify change:
- People had massively decided to start using other type of fireworks. More fancy flares were used rather that the strong explosives. The flares seemed to produce less air pollution than the enormous clouds of dust produced by the firework boms.
- There seemed to be less usage of fireworks than other years. Was this because of the awareness campaign of AiREAS and other media? Or are other reasons possible?
There will be of course a combination of factors that explains this phenomenum but interesting it is indeed and show that complexity we phase at level 4 regional development based on core values.