Observation, Modelling And Management Of Urban Air Pollution
(PUMA Consortium)

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      To apply a high spatial resolution meso-scale meteorological model to the West Midlands. This is the first of its kind in the UK.

      To add a coupled dispersion and atmospheric chemistry model, capable of predicting both primary and secondary air pollutant concentrations at urban background locations across the conurbation with a horizontal resolution of about 2km and a vertical resolution as low as 25m. The model will be validated against high quality measurements of primary pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and NOX, as well as secondary pollutants including nitrogen dioxide, ozone and secondary inorganic particulate matter. It will be compared with an existing model (UAM).

       To make measurements of concentrations of a wide range of both long-lived and transient chemical species including hydrocarbons, carbonyl compounds, oxyacids of nitrogen and the free radical species OH, HO2, RO2 and NO3, which play a key role in atmospheric chemistry.

      To validate the atmospheric chemical reaction mechanisms within the model in a depth not previously attempted.

       To gain insights into the chemical processes controlling the composition of the urban atmosphere at a very fundamental level. 

      To produce a management model applicable for national and local government to predict the impact on air quality of specific control strategies for a wide range of criteria pollutants and on a range of timescales (minutes to years).


West Midlands


This project is seeking to apply and validate a well accepted meso-scale meteorological model (the Colorado State University RAMS model) coupled with a very detailed chemical scheme within a Lagrangian particle dispersion model. This modelling approach (PUMA) promises to advance urban air quality modelling appreciably and will be subject to extensive validation at a level not previously attempted.

Start date/duration

January 1998 - Four years

Lead Organisations

University of Birmingham

Atmospheric Processes Research Division, Meteorological Office

University of East Anglia

University of Leeds

University of Cambridge

Progress and Achievements

Considerable progress has been made with the implementation of the RAMS Meteorological model which is providing interesting simulations. The Meteorological Office has made excellent progress in the adaptation of the NAME model for the purposes of the project.


The project will deliver an urban air quality management model. Although developed for the West Midlands, it will be generic in nature and can be applied elsewhere.


Local Government Authorities

Automotive Companies, eg Rover Group, Perkins Engine Company Ltd

Pollution Control Companies

Further Details

Further information is available from the following contacts: 

Lead Researcher: Prof R M Harrison

Tel: 0121 414 3494,  Fax: 0121 414 3709  e-mail: r.m.harrison.ipe@bham.ac.uk

URGENT Programme Manager: Graham Leeks

Tel: 01491 692203,  Fax: 01491 692313  e-mail: gjll@ceh.ac.uk