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Lionello P.,University of Salento | Lionello P.,Euro Mediterranean Center on Climate Change | Trigo I.F.,Instituto Portugues do Mar e da Atmosfera IPMA | Gil V.,University of Lisbon | And 10 more authors.
Tellus, Series A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography | Year: 2016

The Mediterranean storm track constitutes a well-defined branch of the North Hemisphere storm track and is characterised by small but intense features and frequent cyclogenesis. The goal of this study is to assess the level of consensus among cyclone detection and tracking methods (CDTMs), to identify robust features and to explore sources of disagreement. A set of 14 CDTMs has been applied for computing the climatology of cyclones crossing the Mediterranean region using the ERA-Interim dataset for the period 1979-2008 as common testbed. Results show large differences in actual cyclone numbers identified by different methods, but a good level of consensus on the interpretation of results regarding location, annual cycle and trends of cyclone tracks. Cyclogenesis areas such as the north-western Mediterranean, North Africa, north shore of the Levantine basin, as well as the seasonality of their maxima are robust features on which methods show a substantial agreement. Differences among methods are greatly reduced if cyclone numbers are transformed to a dimensionless index, which, in spite of disagreement on mean values and interannual variances of cyclone numbers, reveals a consensus on variability, sign and significance of trends. Further, excluding 'weak' and 'slow' cyclones from the computation of cyclone statistics improves the agreement among CDTMs. Results show significant negative trends of cyclone frequency in spring and positive trends in summer, whose contrasting effects compensate each other at annual scale, so that there is no significant long-term trend in total cyclone numbers in the Mediterranean basin in the 1979-2008 period. © 2016 P. Lionello et al.

Costantinia A.,Procura della Repubblica | Valenzano B.,ARPA Puglia
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2012

Environmental impacts by both man-made interventions and accidental events are taking on considerable importance; and developing the capacity to minimize these impacts and their harmful consequences for ecosystems and human health is a daunting task for environmental legislators and regulators. A major challenge in impact and risk assessment, as part of safety and integrated environmental management, is to link harmful effects of pollution (including toxic chemicals) to natural resources (soil, underground water, etc.) and to human health. Complex issues are involved in evaluating both environmental risk, for the effects on the ecosystems, and accidental risk, derivative for use of complex mixtures potentially dangerous in productive industrial processes. Therefore, risk assessment and management must include tools based on externally generated risk contours and links to optimal management models of industrial plants by application of Best Available Techniques (BAT). In particular, to reduction models of, accidental and continuous, atmospheric releases and of spills into surface water systems. By the adoption, before of the Directive 82/501/CE (EC, 1982), then of the Directive 96/82/EC (EC, 1996), called Directive "Seveso II", were obtained two aims. The first is prevention of major accident hazards involving dangerous substances. The second is limitation of accidental consequences for man and for environment by introduction of concept of "Domino Effect". This directive has been implemented in Italy by the Legislative Decree no.334 of 17 August 1999 (IG, 1999), hereinafter "L.D. no. 334/99" or "Decree", then revised by the Legislative Decree no. 238 of 21 September 2005, "L.D. no. 238/05" (IG, 2005). Indeed, article no. 25 of Decree establishes that Regions carry out audits on safety management system (SMS) of industrial plants, classified as article no. 6 of L.D. no. 334/99, and the Environment Ministry carry out checks on plants classified as article no. 8, pending the full transfer of responsibilities from State to Regions in accordance by article no. 72 of Legislative Decree no. 112 of 31 March 1998, "L.D. no. 112/98" (IP, 1998) (Activities in Major Accident Risk). Therefore, preliminary investigation, control and planning aimed at ensuring ecosystems and human health security derived to use of hazardous substances, is a task for regional legislators. The Apulia has covered these issues by adopting of Regional Law no. 06 of 2008, "L. no. 06/08" (RC, 2008), as a prerequisite for proceeding to Agreement State-Region. On 21 December 2010, the European Commission has emanated the latest proposal for repeal and replace of current Directive to adopt by 1 June 2015. Therefore, European and national regulatory framework about accidental risks is defined and mature. In Italy, the control activities are carried out in line as in other EU countries. Copyright © 2012, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.

PubMed | CNR Institute of Methodologies for Environmental analysis, Polytechnic of Bari and ARPA PUGLIA
Type: | Journal: Chemosphere | Year: 2015

Sediment contamination by metals poses significant risks to coastal ecosystems and is considered to be problematic for dredging operations. The determination of the background values of metal and metalloid distribution based on site-specific variability is fundamental in assessing pollution levels in harbour sediments. The novelty of the present work consists of addressing the scope and limitation of analysing port sediments through the use of conventional statistical techniques (such as: linear regression analysis, construction of cumulative frequency curves and the iterative 2 technique), that are commonly employed for assessing Regional Geochemical Background (RGB) values in coastal sediments. This study ascertained that although the tout court use of such techniques in determining the RGB values in harbour sediments seems appropriate (the chemical-physical parameters of port sediments fit well with statistical equations), it should nevertheless be avoided because it may be misleading and can mask key aspects of the study area that can only be revealed by further investigations, such as mineralogical and multivariate statistical analyses.

Barbone E.,ARPA Puglia | Barbone E.,University of Salento | Rosati I.,University of Salento | Reizopoulou S.,Institute of Oceanography | Basset A.,University of Salento
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2012

The assessment of human impacts on aquatic ecosystems requires separate quantification of natural and anthropogenic sources of environmental variability. This statement is very challenging in some categories of water bodies such as transitional waters, because they are naturally stressed ecosystems in which natural variability occur on different spatial scales (gradients versus patchiness) and temporal scales (regular versus pulse events). Among transitional water quality elements, benthic macroinvertebrates are the most exposed to natural variability patterns due to their life cycles and space-use behavior. In this article, we have evaluated the relevance of different potential sources of natural variability of benthic macroinvertebrate guilds on the temporal and spatial scales and we have quantified their effects on simple and multimetric descriptors of macroinvertebrate guilds; the latter included biomass and numerical densities, taxonomic diversity as well as M-AMBI and index of size spectra, ISS. The study was carried out using the TWReferenceNET database of 14 Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea lagoons. Synoptic sampling of benthic macroinvertebrates was performed seasonally in different habitats within each lagoon in accordance with a nested design. All considered metrics showed a relatively high degree of variability among different reference stations and ecosystems, with the coefficient of variation ranging from 20% (log numerical density) to 45% (M-AMBI). The average values of every metric were significantly affected by the considered natural sources of variation: lagoon typology, seasonal period and habitat patchiness. Among components of lagoon typology, water salinity influenced the most the variation for both simple and multimetric descriptors. Seasonal period also had a strong influence, with higher values for all metrics before the summer season compared to the one after summer. Benthic habitat patchiness had a considerable influence only on the simple metrics, while continuous habitat variables significantly affected both M-AMBI and ISS. A general mixed model approach, used to quantify the relative influence of the different sources of variation on the considered metrics, allowed calculating type-specific boundaries for M-AMBI and ISS. The new boundaries significantly improved the accuracy of both multimetric indices in the classification of studied reference condition sites, with more than 75% of stations classified as good or high status. Nonetheless, results show that there is an intrinsic uncertainty in the classification of ecological status of lagoon ecosystem due to the degree of variability under reference conditions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Assennato G.,ARPA Puglia | Cuccaro F.,ARPA Puglia
Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia | Year: 2012

Many epidemiological studies, mostly with a case-control design, show an increased risk of cancer, in particular lung cancer, in construction workers. Asbestos is the occupational carcinogen considered for a long time the most important in this sector, but now it covers a residual role, at least in Italy. In this review the most recent studies are considered and the presence of other carcinogens, as crystalline silica, man-made mineral fibers, diesel exhausts, metals, solvents, UV rays, must be considered in risk evaluation also, possibly, for health and epidemiologic surveillance. © PI-ME, Pavia 2012.

Sasso S.,ARPA Puglia | Laterza E.,ARPA Puglia | Valenzano B.,ARPA Puglia
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2012

In general, the risk associated at presence of biogas, generated in controlled conditions, is low. However, a recent case teaches that incidents with gaseous mixture like this to occur. The example of a serious incident with gaseous hydrogen, methane, in presence of ammonium ions, is explosion occur in a pharmaceutical industry in Italy. Biogas is considered as a valuable source for its energy potential. Knowledge of its safety characteristics is a very important practical issue. This explosion was a typical example of a low knowledge of chemistry reactions that, if uncontrolled, can produce hazard consequences. Produced biogas during an anaerobic digestion process was investigated to determine relationship between gaseous hydrogen, methane (present in biogas) and substances, like ammonium ions (present in growing medium to production of active principle). In the present study was analysed a case study about a tank explosion occurred in a pharmaceutical company. Copyright © 2012, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.

Caradonna G.,Polytechnic of Bari | Figorito B.,ARPA Puglia | Tarantino E.,Polytechnic of Bari
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2015

In recent years, people’s need to participate to decision making, especially when it concerns inalienable human rights such as health and living in a healthy environment, has become increasingly manifest. In order to meet the request for environmental information sharing on the web and to make citizens feel “partakers” in the development of environmental policies, the Physical Agents Simple Operative Unit of ARPA Puglia, developed an open source WebGIS as a communication, participation and working tool for both Citizens and Technicians. This paper proposes an efficient approach to customize and integrate an open source WebGIS system based on MapServer and Pmapper. The layout of the WebGIS was customized by filling pages in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to make it intuitive and easy to use. The features offered are those commonly provided by a WebGIS system, in particular: geographical navigation (pan, zoom, zoom to selection), query time and multiple layers, transparency level options, printing and exporting of current image views or pdf files. Environmental data results from a query can be downloaded in pdf, kml and shp formats. The possibility to download files is a key component of the system as it allows the average expert user to find data in an easily and processable format. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.

Tutino M.,ARPA Puglia | Di Gilio A.,ARPA Puglia | Laricchiuta A.,University of Bari | Assennato G.,ARPA Puglia | And 2 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2016

Nowadays, no a standard method for the determination of particulate bound nitro-PAHs (NPAHs) has been developed. Existing methods include complex sampling and extraction procedures. Moreover, their sensitivity does not allow to analyze daily PM10 samples, affecting the temporal resolution of NPAH concentrations. In this study an analytical method for the quantification of NPAHs on half 47 mm-filter samples of daily PM10 was developed and validated. NPAHs were recovered by microwave-assisted extraction, and analyzed by using a gas chromatography-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry in MRM mode. The analytical performance for 14 NPAHs (2-nitrofluorene, 9-nitroanthracene, 9-nitrophenantrene, 3-nitrophenantrene, 2-nitroanthracene, 3-nitrofluoranthene, 1-nitropyrene, 2,7-dinitrofluorene, 7-nitrobenzo[a]anthracene, 6-nitrochrysene, 1,3-dinitropyrene, 1,8-dinitropyrene, 1,6-dinitropyrene, 6-nitrobenza[a]pyrene) was investigated. Recovery extraction percentage exceeded 95% for all target compounds in the range between 0.25 and 10 ng/mL. The repeatability, expressed as Relative Standard Deviation percentage (RSD%) of five determinations, was less than 10% for target compounds except for 2,7-dinitrofluorene, 1,3- and 1,8-dinitropyrene (RSD% < 15%). The limit of detection (LOD) ranged from 12 to 84 pg/mL for most of NPAHs, except for dinitro-pyrenes and nitro-benzo(a)anthracene for which the LOD reached 1.8 ng/mL. The method developed was applied to real samples in order to evaluate the levels of NPAHs in the urban and industrial area of Taranto (South of Italy). The analysis of PM10 samples collected at four industrial and one urban sites, highlighted that in proximity of critical emission source as the biggest European steel plant and under certain weather conditions, combustion processes were the main source of NPAHs in atmosphere. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Calculli C.,University of Bari | Pollice A.,University of Bari | Serinelli M.,ARPA Puglia
Environmetrics | Year: 2012

In Environmental Epidemiology studies, the effects of the presence of a source of pollution on the population health can be evaluated by models that consider the distance from the source as a possible risk factor. We introduce a hierarchical Bayesian model in order to investigate the association between the risk of multiple pathologies and the presence of a single pollution source. Our approach provides the possibility to incorporate spatial effects and other confounding factors within a logistic regression model. Spatial effects are decomposed into the sum of a disease-specific parametric component accounting for the distance from the point source and a common semi-parametric component that can be interpreted as a residual spatial variation. The model is applied to data from a spatial case-control study to evaluate the association of the incidence of different cancers with the residential location in the neighborhood of a petrochemical plant in the Brindisi area (Italy). © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd..

De Gennaro G.,University of Bari | Loiotile A.D.,University of Bari | Fracchiolla R.,University of Bari | Palmisani J.,University of Bari | And 2 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2015

Solvent- and water-based wood stains were monitored using a small test emission chamber in order to characterize their emission profiles in terms of Total and individual VOCs. The study of concentration-time profiles of individual VOCs enabled to identify the compounds emitted at higher concentration for each type of stain, to examine their decay curve and finally to estimate the concentration in a reference room. The solvent-based wood stain was characterized by the highest Total VOCs emission level (5.7mg/m3) that decreased over time more slowly than those related to water-based ones. The same finding was observed for the main detected compounds: Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylenes, Styrene, alpha-Pinene and Camphene. On the other hand, the highest level of Limonene was emitted by a water-based wood stain. However, the concentration-time profile showed that water-based product was characterized by a remarkable reduction of the time of maximum and minimum emission: Limonene concentration reached the minimum concentration in about half the time compared to the solvent-based product. According to AgBB evaluation scheme, only one of the investigated water-based wood stains can be classified as a low-emitting product whose use may not determine any potential adverse effect on human health. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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