Today our new Airly Air Quality Monitor started broadcasting live data from Aghios Germanos in Prespa!
Find it on the map here.
We set it up in Prespa in order to get an idea about Air Pollution in one of the Greek regions located as far as possible from cities and their urban pollution.
Logically we would expect to find very clean air at the Prespa lakes and the high mountains that surround them, but there are some factors that might play against logic:
1. The region is located right in between the coal regions of Western Macedonia and Northern Macedonia. Hence, pollution originating from Coal Power Plants might reach Prespa and pollute the air up there too, because Air Pollution can travel far from its source.
2. People in the villages of Prespa rely heavily on wood burning in order to heat up their homes. Hence, winter Air Quality might be poor within the villages.
3. Farmers still burn crop residuals at the end of the season, creating lots of smoke in the region.
Our hope is that Air Pollution in Prespa is low, and that people and nature up there, so far from urban pollution, can enjoy the Clean Air than over 90% of Greeks aren’t able to enjoy.
But if Air Pollution is an issue up there too, then we must be worried. Not only for its people, but also for its nature. In other regions of the world it has been observed that Air Pollution can affect crops, ecosystems and animal species. It can lower birds’ lifespan and their breeding success, and because Prespa hosts some of the most important breeding colonies of water birds such as Pelicans, Herons, etc., it might be an unknown long term threat that we ought to investigate.
But first, let’s now let the AQ Monitor do its work, and then we can draw our conclusions!