Transport on road, rail and water ways causes various environmental nuisances. The transport infrastructure consumes land, impairs the landscape and affects the local climate, the quality of soil and ground water. The traffic mainly causes air pollution (gaseous exhausts and particulate matter) and noise. They disperse in the atmosphere where the meteorological conditions (above all the temperature stratification and local / regional air currents) play an important role. Wind and temperature, in turn, are influenced by the topographical situation near the transport routes. High concentrations and noise levels impair the quality of life of the population by causing deceases and annoyances. The situation may even engrave in future because traffic volumes continue to grow.
Measures to reduce the adverse environmental impact of transport need to be fostered by scientific prediction methods. It is therefore necessary to develop and apply mathematical-physical or air chemistry models which describe the processes of air pollution dispersion and modification in the atmosphere. The same holds true for the propagation of sound waves which carry the traffic noise through the atmosphere into the ambiance. These models need to be coupled with microscale and mesoscale meteorological models to account for the influence of the local and regional topography. A holistic consideration of air and noise pollution is necessary whenever transport political measures would lead to contradictory effects, e.g. less air pollution and increased noise by a modal shift from road to rail.