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The air pollution map for Warsaw is very easy to find from the main city page. The map icon will be towards the top of the first page and clicking anywhere on the icon will open a new page which contains a wealth of information regarding air quality in Warsaw.
Once the map is open, the first thing to notice will be the colour of the background to the map. In September 2022 it was overall green which would indicate “Good” air quality. The meaning of the various colours used is explained in the legend at the foot of the page. The same colours are used across the entire website. They range from pale green to dark maroon. The darker the colour, the worse the air quality.
Another thing to notice will be the number of coloured discs which are dotted across the map. These discs show the position of the ground-level air monitoring stations in and around the city. They each display a number which is the US AQI reading for that location. It is calculated by measuring six air pollutants which are Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10), ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. This system is encouraged by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Once calculated, it is used as a metric when comparing air quality in other cities across the world. If an individual disc is selected, then a new page will open which has comprehensive details about the air quality in that part of the city.
Looking back at the main city page, Warsaw was enjoying a period of “Good” air quality in early September 2022 with a US AQI reading of 23. The main pollutant that was measured was PM2.5 as it is often used as a benchmark when comparing different locations. The measured level was 5.5 µg/m³ which is very slightly over the WHO recommended target figure of 5 µg/m³.
Looking back again to just below the air pollution map for Warsaw, the number of stations that provide the data can be seen. Currently, there are eight stations operated by four main contributors. The government is one contributor followed by two private individuals and one anonymous operator.
The map page needs to be opened in full-screen mode because only then will the available options become visible down the left-hand side of the page. They can all be toggled on or off in order to see their effects more clearly.
The first option will reveal the position of all the ground-level air monitoring stations in and around the city and its environs. Some may appear to be overlapping, but as the map is slowly expanded, the discs will start to separate.
The second option will show the position of any wildfires that may be burning within the vicinity. During September 2022, there were no fires shown on the air pollution map for Warsaw. The fourth option shows the direction and speed of the prevailing winds which could be observed together with option two to see where the smoke will blow.
It is the third option that is the most theatrical because it can change the colour of the map’s background to reflect the current air quality. Currently, the overall colour is green which would indicate “Good” quality air. Some viewers might find the colour to be too much and confusing. Once it is deactivated, the map will revert to a more standard set of colours which might not be as confusing as before.
Another useful table can be seen on the far side of the screen. This ranks world cities according to their level of air pollution. some cities may appear as a surprise as they are not often thought of as being heavily polluted.
There is more information available just below the air pollution map to show the most polluted station and the most popular. The most polluted one can be found at Poselska where it recorded a US AQI reading of 45. Even though it is the most polluted, with a figure relatively low, the air quality was still classified as being “Good”.
The most popular station is at Warszawa – Ursynów with a total of over 80,000 followers. These people will get forewarned of any major changes to the norm.
Areas of higher pollution can be found by looking for the dark coloured discs with the highest US AQI reading. Alternatively, scroll down to just below the map where a table which ranks the most polluted station can be studied. As stated in the previous paragraph, the most polluted area at the moment is around the station at Poselska.
The source of the air pollution is not directly shown on the air quality map for Warsaw; however, Warsaw is located in quite favourable terrain conditions so that the wind can blow away any pollution accumulating above it. Unfortunately, air pollution is partially caused by the operation of large factories, but primarily due to means of transport and low emissions. The latter is understood as burning low-quality coal in traditional furnaces - and even rubbish, because they often end up in them. Even though people are constantly being educated on this issue, the problem does not seem to be diminishing. No wonder that it is in the winter months that the problem of smog over Warsaw is particularly acute!
Smog is a fog that contains various pollutants. It is created with the simultaneous occurrence of appropriate weather conditions and high air pollution by humans, mainly caused by burning low quality coal in furnaces or due to exhaust fumes from cars while driving. Of course, there are many reasons for air pollution, but it always negatively affects people and animals.
Currently, the term "smog" is commonly used to describe poor air quality. We most often think of smog as visible pollution in the form of reduced air transparency (fog). However, this is not always the case. Very often, meteorological conditions prevent the formation of a visible, ominous "suspension" in the air. This, however, does not mean that the air condition is good - contaminants are often not seen or felt. However, they are very dangerous - for example, PM2.5 microparticles reach the farthest corners of the body, including the brain, causing damage that delays development in children and increases the risk of strokes in adults. It is very difficult to defend against the effects of inhaling such small particles.