EU Science Hub

JRC inaugurates new Atmospheric Observatory tower at the Ispra site

Jul 10 2017

A new state-of-the-art laboratory has been built to host the station which has been measuring air pollution for over thirty years.

The inauguration ceremony took place on 10 July at JRC Ispra in the presence of Tibor Navracsics, the European Commissioner for Education and Culture, responsible for the JRC, who highlighted the scientific and symbolic significance of this event.

Atmospheric Observatory will measure air pollutants

The Atmospheric Observatory is one of just two active EMEP stations in Italy and it is one of the most advanced research-driven stations within the EMEP programme. It provides essential observations on air pollutants and greenhouse gases. The observations from the station also provide solid data which is used to assess the effectiveness and impact of European policies on the atmosphere.

The Atmospheric Observatory has been designed to become one of the pillars of European Research Infrastructures that address questions linked to climate change and air quality.

Collaboration with Lombardy Region

The Lombardy Regional Agency for Environmental Protection (ARPA ) has already expressed its interested in the Observatory and in installing and operating a hydro-meteorological measurement station on the JRC Ispra site in order to extend its current monitoring network.

During his inauguration speech, Tibor Navracsics said: "Our collaboration with the Lombardy Region has been important in the recent past in areas like the environment, air quality and sustainability. The inauguration of the Atmospheric Observatory today is an important step of deepening our cooperation in these scientific areas. I am proud that the Commission's Joint Research Centre has such a vital role in driving innovation, economic growth and social development in this, one of Europe's most dynamic regions. I hope that we will be able to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding later this year to take our cooperation forward."

Air pollution one of the biggest environmental challenges in Europe

Climate change and air pollution remain the most important environmental challenges in Europe and worldwide. European Union policies have been developed to tackle these challenges and to improve air quality throughout Europe for the past thirty years.  

For over three decades, the JRC has participated in the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP), which underpins the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The JRC air quality monitoring station supported the implementation of the EMEP programme.