From: Christopher Buckingham
There clearly is a fundamental problem relating to pollution.
The problem came to notice following a national paper comparing the town pollution levels equal to London, but it could be debated from a practical view point to be double when you consider London’s catchment area to be 360 degrees and Eastbourne’s 180 degrees with the sea taking up the remaining 180 degrees.
It is well known that ships are one of the worst polluters and this has been raised in earlier letters but if this is to be the case then why would Eastbourne be picked out and not say Dover with its numerous daily ferries and closer proximity to France (21 miles) and for that matter any other south coast town?
The downland could well give an indication to be the most significant contribution to the puzzle for as pointed out by Liz Moloney’s letter (November 24).
The pollution levels are not so evident on an easterly wind. The weather in Eastbourne is on the main from the west and this will pick up pollutants from Brighton, Newhaven and the A27 vehicles.
The downs cause the wind to increase as it is pushed up the face of the windward side of the hills and when it reaches the back or Leeward side a negative pressure, or vortex, is generated which will suck pollutants downwards and in the case of a westerly wind dump them in Eastbourne and immediate surrounding areas.
An every day example would be downdraughts in chimney flues prevalent in westerly winds.
The performance of the winds and characteristics are clearly also affected by the air temperatures of the land and sea. In the case or Birling Gap a few weeks ago the wind was shown to be from the northerly direction and a very hot day. The heat on the land could well hold the pollutants in suspension until it met the comparatively cold surface of the sea causing particle or gaseous precipitation.
If this analogy is correct then the pollutants were land sourced and not from the sea.
One can only agree with Liz Moloney’s criticism of the lack of factual information provided by the experts test results. To say the pollutants come from London (which lays in a basin) is an odd analogy so why not Crawley, Gatwick airport etc.
My guess would be the experts should look closer to home?