Important legal notice
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Environment - Understanding the environment and the impacts of green technologies
“Improve knowledge on the importance of all sources of atmospheric emissions in Europe and their impact on air quality and the environment.”

The problem

Air pollutants from natural and biogenic sources contribute to ambient air concentrations in the same way as anthropogenic emissions. However, knowledge about these sources is limited which may introduce uncertainty in the assessment of anthropogenically induced effects, and affect the formulation of environmental objectives in the EU. As emission control activities successfully decrease anthropogenic emissions over time, the relative importance of other sources increases. Therefore, it is essential to develop and improve methods to quantify emissions from natural and biogenic sources.

NATAIR  Measuring the impact of ‘natural’ emissions


NATAIR will improve methods for the calculation of natural and biogenic emissions, and the assessment of impacts on air quality policy implementation. Policy analysis and detailed evaluation will be limited to the EU-25, but emission assessments will be applied to the whole of Europe. The following natural sources will be taken into account:

  • Vegetation and soil
  • Wind blown dust, including Saharan dust
  • Volcanoes and lightning
  • Burning and forest fires
  • Pollen
  • Coastal zones, seas and lakes
  • Sea salt
  • Wild animals but NOT emissions from domestic and farm animals
  • Anoxic soil processes (wetlands)
  • Natural seepage of gas storage

Contribution to policy development:

  • Assist in the monitoring and compliance of air quality targets defined by the European Commission
  • Improve the formulation of air quality directives (e.g. 96/22/EC, 99/30/EC, 2003/03/EC) and emission
    reduction plans
  • Enhance the formulation of environmental objectives
    in the EU
  • Improve the assessment of the effectiveness of
    policy options

Project deliverables

  • Stakeholder workshop – Month 1
  • Interim reports – Months 13, 25
  • Development of calculation methods for forest and soils, natural methane and other sources – Month 17
  • Final Report – Month 27


  • All participants are institutions in environmental research which can utilise NATAIR results for their mutual benefit
  • Website – ongoing
  • Regular publications in scientific literature and official EU media – ongoing
  • Most partners are directly involved in academic teaching, and project results will be communicated in teaching curricula for domestic students and international masters degree courses – ongoing

Technical information

Project acronym: NATAIR
Project’s official full title: Improving and applying methods for the calculation of natural and biogenic emissions and assessment of impacts to the air quality
Research priority: 1.5. Environmental assessment (soil, water, air, noise, including the effects of chemical substances)
Specific webpage: Not available
Proposal/contract no: 513699
Start date: Not available
Kick off meeting: Month 1
Completion date: Month 27
European Commission scientific officer: Not available

Name: University of Stuttgart, Institute of energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy
Abbreviated name: USTUTT
Address: University of Stuttgart
Country: Germany
Tel: + 49 (0)711 780 610
Fax: + 49 (0)711 780 61 822


Name: Austrian Research Centre – System Research GmbH-sys
Abbreviated name: ARC-Sys
Country: Austria

Name: Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Institut fur Meteorologie und Klimaforschung-Atmospharische Umweltforschung (IFU)
Abbreviated name: FZK/IMK-IFU
Country: Germany

Name: AEA Technology Environment, NETCEN (AEAT)
Abbreviated name: netcen
Country: UK

Name: Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas
Abbreviated name: IETU
Country: Poland

Name: Institut Pierre Simon Laplace-Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Ecole Polytechnique
Abbreviated name: CNRS
Country: France

Name: Agenzia per la Protezione dell’Ambiente e per i Serizi Tecnici
Abbreviated name: APAT
Country: Italy

Name: University of Joensuu, Department of Biology
Abbreviated name: JOY (UJOE)
Country: Finland

Name: European Commission – Directorate-General Joint Research Centre – Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Abbreviated name: EC-JRC
Country: Italy