Most Mediterranean countries aren't big polluters. A new survey suggests, however, that the area is a crossroads for pollution-carrying air currents from Europe, Asia, and North America.
According to an international team of 31 atmospheric chemists, climatologists, and others, these currents converge over the Mediterranean Sea, creating pollutant concentrations that routinely surpass the European Union's air-quality standards. The team reports its findings in the Oct. 25 Science.
Previous measurements of unusually high ozone concentrations in the region prompted Jos Lelieveld of the Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, and his colleagues to attempt a more detailed analysis. In the summer of 2001, they used aircraft as well as atmosphere-measuring station