Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Major makeover for our Air Pollution Information System

Guest blog by Bill Bealey of CEH’s Edinburgh research site

Our Air Pollution Information System (APIS) is now 10 years old. APIS helps deliver our science to a wider audience by providing a wealth of information on air pollution and its impacts on the environment.  It is the only UK web-site to focus entirely on atmospheric air pollution and ecosystem impacts as other air pollution sites focus on human health impacts.

APIS has been used in many environmental assessments including those for the Stanstead and Lyyd airport extensions, the new Kingsnorth power station, various road bypasses, and many large livestock installations.

Relaunched this week, APIS has been given a make-over to bring it up to date with new web technologies and provide a better user experience. You can read more about the APIS relaunch on our news pages, and visit the new APIS website by clicking here.

The APIS homepage

Improvements that have been made to the site include:
  • An updated application to assess the risk of air pollution impacts on Natura 2000 sites and SSSIs in the UK. The website includes revised modelled deposition data and new ‘critical loads’ for nutrient nitrogen and acidity; the ability to examine the major source inputs to a designated site, and produce data and graphs for each designated feature on the site.
  • A simpler search tool for assessing air pollution impacts on a particular habitat (pollutant-habitat records).
  • A new ‘query by location’ tool to look up multiple pollutants at the same time.
  • A new look and feel, with a wider page layout which works on bigger screens.
  • Feedback forms, to help us continually improve the site.
Developed and hosted by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, APIS is a support tool used by staff in the UK conservation and regulatory agencies (e.g. SEPA, the Environment Agency, SNH, Natural England, Northern Ireland EA, and CCW), industry and local authorities, for assessing the potential effects of air pollutants on habitats and species. As such, it aims to enable a consistent approach to air pollution assessment across the UK. Other potential users include non-governmental organisations, universities, students or anyone interested in finding out more about air pollution effects on wildlife.

Results from one of the APIS assessment tools

We'd really like your views on APIS so please let us know using the contact form on the APIS website or leave a comment below.

Bill Bealey

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