Ozone levels in European and USA cities are increasing more than at rural sites, while peak values are decreasing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA
  • Istituto per i Processi Chimico-Fisici del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IPCF-CNR)
  • ENEA
  • Dept Plant, Soil Insect Sciences, Univ. Massachusetts
  • Department of Environmental Sciences / Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies, King Abdulaziz University, PO Box 80203, Jeddah, 21589, Saudi Arabia


Ground-level ozone (O3) levels are usually lower in urban centers than nearby rural sites. To compare trends in O3 levels during the period 1990-2010, we obtained monitoring data from paired urban and rural sites from the European Environment Agency and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Ozone peaks decreased at both station types, with no significant differences between urban and rural stations. Ozone annual averages increased at both urban and rural sites, with a faster rate of increase for urban centers. The overall trend was for convergence between urban and rural O3 data. Ozone levels exceeded the criteria established for the protection of human and vegetation health at both urban and rural sites.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-299
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Air quality, Protection of human health, Protection of vegetation, Tropospheric ozone, Urban air pollution