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Comparison of 19th Century and Present Concentrations and Depositions of Ozone in Central Europe

Author(s): WEIDINGER, Tamás | BARANKA, Györgyi | BALÁZS, Roland | TÓTH, Katalin

Journal: Acta Silvatica & Lignaria Hungarica
ISSN 1786-691X

Volume: 7;
Start page: 23;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: ozone concentration and deposition | Schönbein’s method | historical datasets

Ozone, one of the most important trace gases in atmosphere was discovered byChristian Friedrich Schönbein (1799–1886), a chemistry professor at the University of Basel. Themethod developed by him was used from the middle of nineteenth century until the 1920’s inmuch of the world. The measurement method is based essentially on the color-change of anindicator test paper. We obtained records for ozone measured in the Habsburg Empire usingSchönbein’s method for analyze the long term environmental processes. According to recordskept in the Habsburg Empire, ozone was measured at more than twenty sites between 1853–1856.On the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary, ozone was measured at Szeged, Buda andSelmecbánya (Schemnitz, Banska Štiavnica) among others. Long term datasets are available fromBuda (1871–1898) and Ó-Gyalla (Altdala, Hurbanovo, 1898–1905). Ozone was measured duringboth day- and nighttime. Additionally meteorological variables (like air temperature, relativehumidity, air pressure, wind speed, cloud cover, precipitation) were also observed several times aday. The data reported in the yearbooks were collected and evaluated in this study to reconstructthe ozone dataset. Depending on concentrations and deposition velocity over different vegetatedsurfaces the ozone deposition can be estimated. The reliability of estimations and reconstructedozone deposition values are also discussed. Finally ozone datasets from the 19th and 21st centuryand the differences in ozone concentration and deposition between rural and urban areas arecompared. Ozone concentrations and deposition are found to be approximately three times highernow than in the 19th century.
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