rss_2.0Environmental Protection and Natural Resources FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Protection and Natural Resources Feed Harmful Elements Content in Soil and Stream Sediments in Southwestern Districts of Katowice (Southern Poland) – Geochemical Record of Historical Industrial Plants’ Activity<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of the research was to assess the quality of topsoils and stream sediments in the districts of the Katowice City of southern Poland in the Upper Silesian Industrial Agglomeration, influenced primarily by the exploitation of hard coal deposits and metallurgy. The task was carried out using indicators used to assess anthropogenic soil contamination (contamination factor CF and the Igeo geoaccumulation index), as well as ecotoxicological indicators used to determine the quality of stream sediments (Threshold Effect Concentration TEC and Probable Effect Concentration PEC). In order to indicate the most polluted areas, geochemical maps of selected elements in soil and stream sediments were developed. The material comes from the top layer of soil (0.0–0.3 m) and stream sediments located in the districts of the Katowice City. The work took into account selected potentially harmful elements (PHEs). The concentrations of elements were measured using the ICP-AES method, except for Hg (the CV-AAS method). The values of the CF and Igeo indicators allowed for the indication of high concentrations of most metals, arsenic, and sulfur in the topsoil layer, significantly exceeding the geochemical background values caused by the historical exploitation of Zn-Pb and zinc ores and ferrous metallurgy. The values of the TEC and PEC indicators classify the sediments into categories that may threaten the environment and living organisms.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Wastewater Quality Control: Heavy Metal Comparative Analysis—Case Study<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>A comparative analysis was conducted on raw and treated wastewater and the concentrations of heavy metals in sewage sludge from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The research aimed to demonstrate improved efficiency in reducing heavy metal levels as a part of municipal and industrial waste management, with a specific emphasis on minimising the overall environmental impact. In this study, we presented the results of a repeated measures analysis of variance and assessed compliance with heavy metal content standards in sewage sludge from municipal treatment using a one-sample t-test against a reference norm. The analysis included measurements conducted between 2004 and 2015. We conducted an analysis of heavy metals, including zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), and nickel (Ni), manganese (Mn) and mercury (Hg). High Zn concentration that we observed in pre-treatment wastewater raised important questions. Leakages in sewage networks can result in contaminants infiltrating the wastewater, thereby increasing pollutant concentrations. Elevated concentrations can stem from industrial activities, where Zn and pollutants are discharged into wastewater as byproducts of industrial operations. The study illustrated the attainment of the highest sanitary standards, ensuring that treatment processes effectively eliminate harmful toxic substances, ultimately guaranteeing that the final product is safe for further reclamation processes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Flax Shives as a Process of Preparation Waste Vegetable Biomass for Energy Purposes<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The use of processed biomass, derived from agricultural crop residues, as a fuel is becoming increasingly important in the energy sector, which additionally allows for the management of excess waste that is a burden on the environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the torrefaction process conditions in a carbon dioxide atmosphere on the chemical structure of biocarbon and the energy parameters of the produced product, which can be a solid biofuel. The biomass chosen for the experimental work was flax shive. Determinations of the heat of combustion of the produced biocarbon samples were carried out using a KL-10 calorimeter, and identification of the molecular structure of the product and the starting biomass was carried out using infrared spectrometry. It was confirmed that increasing the temperature of biomass torrefaction increases the heat of combustion of the product, with this parameter obtaining the most favourable value for biocarbon obtained during torrefaction at 320°C and for 20 to 30 minutes. The heat of combustion of the biocarbon produced during torrefaction at 320°C and for 30 minutes was 25.92 MJ/kg, with a feedstock mass loss of 41%. Such conditions lead to a significant conversion of the chemical structure of the biomass, with no complete destruction of organic structures.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the Copernicus High-Resolution Layer Forest Type (HRL FTY) assessed with domestic NFI sampling plots in Poland<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Over the past years, several remote sensing maps of land cover have been produced, but they still exhibit certain differences compared to the real land use that reduce their value for climate and carbon cycle modelling as well as for national estimates of forest carbon stocks and their change. This paper outlines a straightforward framework for evaluating map accuracy and estimating uncertainty in land cover area, specifically for forest-related land cover maps in Poland for the year 2018.</p> <p>The study compares stratified field-based data from the National Forest Inventory (NFI) with remote sensing data on forest variables, at the pixel level, in order to identify suitable methods for accuracy and area uncertainty estimation. Additionally, the paper introduces and presents a variety of accuracy metrics applicable to assess overall uncertainties in GHG inventories.</p> <p>The results indicate that the High-Resolution Layer Forest Type (HRL FTY) product (part of the broader Copernicus Land Monitoring Service [CLMS] portfolio), assessed using NFI field-based information, achieved an overall accuracy (OA) of 69.2%. This metric varies among particular nature protection forms, with the highest observed ones in Natura 2000 sites of 70.45%. The primary source of map errors was associated with distinguishing between broad-leaved and coniferous forest areas. Improving future maps necessitates more precise differentiation between species to better support national forest monitoring systems for the purpose of greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories where information on the spatial distribution and variability of forests sources, biodiversity assessment, threat prevention, estimation of carbon content is becoming an important part of the associated reporting system.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Energy Consumption in the Dairy Industry: A Case Study in Poland<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The correlations between two groups of factors and energy consumption were analysed in four types of dairy plants with different production profiles. Groups of dairy plants with a similar production profile, as well as individual plants, were compared. Energy consumption was most strongly correlated with technical equipment (r = 0.88 – 0.99); this observation can be used by designers to promote better energy conservation measures during plant operation. Energy consumption was highest in plants producing milk powder. Plants specializing in milk powder may also produce up to 8 other dairy products; however, engineering and production factors can significantly contribute to reducing energy consumption, which suggests that energy is being consumed for non-production purposes at these plants.</p> <p>The variation in energy consumption per unit of end-product was best-explained in small dairy plants producing up to 4 products. In analyses of individual plants, energy consumption per unit of end-product was strongly correlated with both the milk-processing output and the production profile. The equations developed in this study, in particular the regression coefficients, can be used to generate additional information for detailed analyses. The structure and level of detail of the independent variables also means that the presented equations can be applied to reducing power consumption of the operated equipment, and for optimizing overall production profiles.</p> <p>The results of the study can be used to model energy consumption in different types of dairy plants and to evaluate their environmental performance. The international literature was reviewed, and the results of research studies analysing the correlations between energy consumption in dairy plants and their environmental impact were cited in the paper.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue carbon dioxide emission factors from combustion of gaseous methane fuels<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The topic of this paper concerns energy-related carbon dioxide emission factors from the combustion of gaseous methane fuels. It is a very current subject, as methane fuels, mainly of fossil origin, are one of the primary energy carriers used in industrial and municipal applications for energy purposes. Consequently, the emitted carbon dioxide contributes to the intensification of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. The problem of the quantities characterising emissions from the combustion of methane fuels is complicated by the diversity of these fuels. This paper presents background information on the gaseous hydrocarbon fuels and the composition of the main types of natural gas. The structure of natural gas consumption in Poland, depending on the sectors of application for particular types of natural gas, is presented. On the basis of the existing data, aggregated energy-related carbon dioxide emission factors were estimated and analysed. The analysis was carried out for high-methane natural gas (HM), colliery gas (CG) and nitrified natural gas (N)—for the years 1988–2021. Trends in fuel consumption and energy-related carbon dioxide emission factors were determined for the years 1988–2021.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue elevated rainfall with sewage discharge volume<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The intricate hydrological processes elucidating the interplay between rainfall and flow manifest through rainwater's traversal along diverse routes, encompassing surface runoff and subsurface flow. While the foundational association between these entities is discernible, the convoluted intricacies characterizing this correlation defy straightforward comprehension. Examining the data between 2019 and 2022, the average daily sewage outflow was 12,518 m<sup>3</sup>/d, with occasional peaks of up to 50,440 m<sup>3</sup>/d. The wastewater treatment plant's capacity of 35,000 m<sup>3</sup>/d was usually not exceeded. Overall, average daily sewage outflows varied between 11,716 m<sup>3</sup>/d and 13,969 m<sup>3</sup>/d during the studied period. Comprehending this interrelationship holds pivotal significance for the optimization of water-resource-management strategies. A moderate correlation (r = 0.42) between daily rainfall levels and sewage discharge was found in the dataset covering 2018–2023. When categorizing daily rainfall into groups labelled “A” through “G” and comparing them to sewage flows, a pattern emerged: Rain-free days in group “A” had the lowest average sewage flow (10,996 m<sup>3</sup>/d), while heavy rain days in group “G”, had the highest average flow (22,112 m<sup>3</sup>/d). This observation underscores a significant correlation between intensified rainfall and increased volume of sewage discharge. Through a comprehensive analysis of factors such as sewage composition, meteorological dynamics and chronological sequences, we will gain an enhanced ability to prognosticate and govern sewage systems. The significance of this is heightened within the context of evolving climatic dynamics.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue use of hydrogen as a fuel in road transport on the Polish path to climate neutrality - a literature review<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Hydrogen is expected to be one of the most important fuels meeting stringent emission standards shortly. Using hydrogen as a fuel in an internal combustion engine (ICE) is an alternative application to replace hydrocarbon fuels that, when burned, produce harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, particulate matter, and greenhouse gases. This work provides an overview of the latest research results and future challenges and opportunities related to the use of hydrogen to power ICEs. The article presents the work of various research centres describing the technical use of hydrogen as a fuel in motor vehicles with combustion engines. Specific chemical and physical properties of hydrogen used in combustion engines were presented. The article presents modern research on a hydrogen-powered ICE. First, the basics of hydrogen engines are described, examining the engine-specific properties of hydrogen, followed by a review of the existing literature. Attention was paid to the fundamental importance of optimising the air composition from the point of view of combustion quality, NOx emissions, engine efficiency, and performance. Another issue under consideration is cleaning exhaust gases to meet future emissions regulations for hydrogen-fuelled combustion engines.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the results of environmental life cycle assessment of bulky waste management technologies using sensitivity analysis<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The calculation aimed to verify the life cycle assessment (LCA) results of the bulky waste management technology by using sensitivity analysis. Different sensitivity analyses for LCA were carried out to point out which of the tested methods gave the most reliable LCA results. The main factor that helped to find the best-fitted method was CO<sub>2</sub> emissions. The LCA analyses were performed by IOŚ-PIB using SimaPro software based on the technology data obtained during the Urbanrec project. The sensitivity analysis was conducted twofold: the LCA analysis was carried out for different time horizons in the frame of the ReCiPe method egalitarian (E), individual (I), and hierarchic (H). In the second step, the LCA results for the ReCiPe method were compared with the LCA results for methods: CML-IA, Impact 2002+, and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GGP). The results of the LCA for all endpoints are sensitive to changes in the time horizon, which is reflected in the change in impact assessment methods used in calculations. The biggest differences are visible between the egalitarian and individual perspectives. In the second case of the sensitivity analysis, differences in results between the individual analytical methods used for LCAs can be observed. The obtained results show a high sensitivity of LCA results from the adopted time horizon, as well as moderate sensitivity of the carbon footprint depending on the method of analysis used.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue emission from the coal combustion in the Polish residential sector. State and outlooks<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper presents obtaining the average PM<sub>2.5</sub> emission factor from coal combustion in the residential sector using (statistical) Monte Carlo simulation combined with the model proposed by [<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0019_ref_027">Lorenz 1999</xref>] and [<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0019_ref_036">Radović 1997</xref>], also applied by [<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0019_ref_039">Stala–Szlugaj 2011</xref>]. According to the results of laboratory experiments [<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0019_ref_005">Czaplicka et al. 2019</xref>; <xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0019_ref_032">Shen 2014</xref>], the estimated amount of PM<sub>2.5</sub> released into the air from the individually heated residential sector might be underestimated. Simulated emission factor is used for estimation of the PM<sub>2.5</sub> emission trend for the period 1990–2018 and compared with the data provided by the official Polish emission inventory [<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0019_ref_030">NCEM 2020</xref>]. Due to significant changes in officially applied data (share of coal consumption and emission factor) [<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0019_ref_028">MCAE 2023</xref>], and to ensure the data consistency with projected fuel demand [<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0019_ref_040">Stala–Szlugaj 2017</xref>], and PM<sub>2.5</sub> emissions [<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0019_ref_029">MSA 2019</xref>], the older data is used [<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0019_ref_030">NCEM 2020</xref>] in the paper. In the near future, the next substantial changes in projected fuel use are expected due to the ongoing works on the update of the National Energy and Climate Plan.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue preferred types of drive systems for city buses—the context of the Polish energy mix<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The energy mix determines the external costs of transport and the benefits from investments in the drive systems perceived as more environmentally friendly, such as electric vehicles.</p> <p>The aim of this article was to present a methodology to determine the environmentally preferable urban bus drive systems (electric, hydrogen, CNG, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and diesel) depending on CO<sub>2</sub> emission factors related to the production of electricity in a given country.</p> <p>The developed methodology was exemplified by the Polish energy system. The results indicate the environmentally preferable types of urban bus drive systems, taking into account vehicle exploitation.</p> <p>The results obtained can inform the decision-making process and, in particular, enable state administrations in EU countries to define a support mechanism for public transport (e.g., through subsidies) that is appropriate to the environmental benefits of operating particular types of vehicles under country-specific energy mix conditions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and benefits of reducing air pollutant emissions as a result of bringing coal and lignite-fired power plants into compliance with BAT LCP conclusions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The analysis carried out regarding the costs of adapting to the best available technique (BAT) conclusions in relation to the benefits achieved (external costs) showed that these benefits significantly exceed the cost of investments necessary to meet the required levels of permissible best available technique-associated emission levels (BAT-AELs). In the case of sulfur dioxide, the ratio of costs incurred to benefits obtained is only 3%, for nitrogen oxides 7%, and for dust it is less than 1%. This is primarily due to a significant increase in external costs, published in 2021 by the EEA. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that a precise assessment of external costs should be based on the analyses of individual facilities, taking into account their local specificity.</p> <p>The analysis showed that the most cost-effective way was to adapt the coal-fired power plant sector to the requirements related to reducing dust emissions. Significant benefits were achieved as a result of small investment outlays.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of natural conditions in Poland in the operation of fully organic farms and those with co-existing conventional production<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study addresses the issue of assessing the functioning of farms in areas with diverse natural farming conditions by evaluating them using the latest version of the Agricultural Production Area Valorization (APAV) index. Analyses were performed on three types of farms: fully organic farms, organic farms with co-existing conventional production, and conventional-production farms. To achieve the research objective, 259 communes were selected depending on the level of their APAV. Assessments were made of their production potential, production organization, production and economic results in communes with average APAVs below, equal to, and higher than the national average (66.6 points) based on data from farms continuously keeping accounts for the Polish farm accountancy data network (FADN) in between 2019–2021. The Shannon-Wiener index (S-W index) was used to measure the degree of diversity of crop species in the farms’ sown crops, and determine what proportion of those were structure-forming plants. This research demonstrates that in order for interest in organic production to develop under current conditions, there must be sufficient financial support for agricultural producers, especially in areas with more difficult farming conditions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the global agricultural sector to changes in climate policy - EU countries compared to the rest of the world<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>There has been a decline in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per capita in all world regions since the 1990s. In developing countries, this decline has been attributed to population growth and an increase in absolute emissions, while in developed countries, the trend is mainly due to a decrease in absolute emissions combined with minor population changes.</p> <p>This paper aims to delve into the intricacies of global GHG emissions, with a spotlight on the agricultural sector. This paper assesses the patterns and reasons behind the decline in GHG emissions per capita since the 1990s across different regions. In particular, it addresses the concept of the “sustainable intensification of agriculture” and the debate between intensive vs. less-intensive production in the context of GHG emissions. Despite having high emissions per hectare, we argue that European countries show lower emissions in relation to production value, highlighting the region’s production intensity and efficiency. Compelling visual data representations and references from significant international bodies, such as the IPCC and EEA, bolster the paper’s findings and conclusions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Built-up Areas Surrounding the International Baghdad Airport on Aviation Meteorology<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study focuses on the development of urbanization around International Baghdad Airport and its impact on aviation meteorology in terms of the vertical changes of air temperature and wind. Based on the results published in [<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_oszn-2023-0007_ref_033">Zeina, Al-Jiboori 2023</xref>], built-up areas were calculated using the satellite images of Landsat in ArcGIS 10.7 software in the month of July in five-year intervals between 1985 and 2020: 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2020. The result shows that surface air temperature has the lowest value, at 34.85 °C, in 1985, and the highest one, at 39.55 °C, in 2020. Variations in wind shear were also observed in 1990, 2005 and 2015 with a value of 0.06 s-1, while 2000 and 2020 both had a value of 0.054 s-1. In representing the relationship between the extracted areas and their meteorological parameters, we found a weak positive relationship between Built-up Index (BUI) area and air temperature, and a significant positive correlation between BUI areas and wind shear.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of current loss estimation methods and recommendations to improve the assessment of post-disaster impacts of extreme events in Poland<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article aims to identify the limitations of the method used in Poland to estimate losses caused by natural extreme phenomena [e.g., floods, flooding, heavy rainfall, strong winds, spring frosts and negative effects of wintering] and to propose recommendations that will improve our ability to assess the impact of extreme events in the country. Information about issues related to the adopted method for estimating the effects of natural extreme phenomena in the country was gathered through a survey conducted with participants in the damage and loss estimation process. This article focuses on examining the method of estimating losses applied after the occurrence of a specific event [ex-post].</p> <p>The method of estimating losses and the method of collecting data on losses in Poland does not guarantee comprehensive information on the effects of natural extreme events. Limited access to reliable data increases the uncertainty of research related to assessing the impact of extreme events on the environment, society and economy. The conducted research allowed us to develop recommendations, which were divided into two groups: the near- and long-term. They include the implementation of a system for collecting data on the effects of disasters, the development of methods to assess the social and long-term impact of extreme events and the development of methods involving satellite remote sensing and airborne laser scanning.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue need for wildlife research and improved management of protected areas in the face of increased nature-based tourism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Nature-based tourist destinations attract millions of visitors every year. In 2020, this trend was interrupted by the emergence of the COVID-19 disease and the introduction of global travel restrictions, which significantly reduced the number of tourists. However, with the lifting of these restrictions, the number of visitors to natural areas is increasing even faster. Many of these destinations are national parks and are poorly prepared for rapidly growing attendance, making the impact of human presence on wildlife in protected areas a concern. The main impacts of nature-based tourism on protected areas are: negative impacts on wildlife behaviour by increasing stress levels and spreading diseases and invasive species. There is a risk that nature-based tourism will cause even more damage to nature in the near future, as tourists’ knowledge of ecology and nature conservation is still insufficient, visitor numbers are increasing dynamically and the adaptation and management of protected areas is still inadequate. The most urgent research directions related to nature-based tourism are: large carnivores, ungulates, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Solutions for the management of protected areas should include: e.g. the establishment of educational centres, the provision of additional attractions, the temporary exclusion of certain parts of national parks and the reconstruction of tourism infrastructure in protected areas.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Use of Mosses in Biomonitoring of Air Pollution in the Terrestrial Environment: A Review<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Environmental biomonitoring is an excellent supplement to instrumental methods of environmental quality assessment. The use of biological methods has many advantages (relatively low cost, independence from the source of energy in the field etc.). The limitation in the use of bioindication methods is the inability to compare the results with legal environmental pollution standards. Mosses are commonly used in air pollution monitoring. Mosses exhibit most of the characteristics attributed to effective bioindicators. The advantage of mosses over other bioindicators comes from the fact that the result depends only on-air pollution due to the lack of practical contact with the soil. Mosses are used in air pollution biomonitoring in two basic methods: naturally growing or transplanted to the researched area. They are most often used to assess air pollution by metals and other elements, but also by various organic compounds. A prerequisite for successful application of these methods is strict adherence to a recognised methodology and standardisation of all activities, such as random selection of measurement points. The article presents a critical analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of biomonitoring of air pollutants, along with a final recommendation for their use, provided that appropriate methodological rigor is maintained. An important advantage of mosses in biomonitoring is their relatively practical ease of application and interpretation of results, resulting in their widespread use.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Environmental Effects of Innovative Potato Cultivation with the Use of Beneficial Microorganisms in Poland<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Agricultural production is the main area of human activity that affects both food security and well-being, as well as the environment, in which people live. The modern economy tries to combine economic and environmental goals, because uncontrolled intensive production growth can lead to irreversible changes in the environment. This paper addresses the issue of evaluating one of the methods in search of the golden mean of sustainable agricultural production, on the example of the potato-microbiome interaction leading to the development of an innovative strategy of potato breeding and production. The aim was to apprise the economic and environmental effects of innovative potato cultivation with the use of beneficial microorganisms in Poland based on the field data. The data for the analyses were obtained from experimental field work carried out in 2021–2022 under the PotatoMetaBiome project. The analysis of the collected data allowed us to conclude that from the economic point of view, the most profitable was the strategy that included the use of practices based on synthetic means of production (with mineral fertilizers and chemical protection). On the other hand, the use of innovative preparations with beneficial microorganisms slightly increased the profitability in relation to the strategy without means of production and with the use of synthetic means of production. At the same time, it had the least negative impact on the environment than other agricultural practices. The obtained results indicate that the use of beneficial microorganisms may be a viable alternative agricultural strategy in potato production. It allows farmers to obtain satisfactory economic results while maintaining the environmental regime. Their use, however, requires further research in terms of the impact on the economics and organisation of agricultural production.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in snow: Selected aspects of chemical composition of an urban snow cover (Kielce, SE Poland)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Snow cover is a valuable source of information about air quality. It enables detection of dust and other air pollutants which have been accumulated throughout the period since the snow cover was formed. Research conducted in Kielce confirms multidirectional human pressure from local and regional emission sources. Combustion of fuels resulted in lower pH and increased EC, SO<sub>4</sub> and NO<sub>3</sub> concentrations in the southern and northern parts of the city. Elevated concentrations of Cl and Na indicate the effect of transportation and winter road maintenance. Apart from local emitters, air quality in Kielce is affected by the regional sources, including the nearby center of the lime and cement industries. Climate change is reflected in the number of days with snow and thickness of snow cover, declining since the 1990s.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue