EU Science Hub

JRC air pollution observatory

The JRC runs an air pollution research observatory, contributing to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (UNECE-EMEP). The JRC data allow us to benchmark the impacts of emission reduction policies and show important trends or changes in atmospheric composition.

The JRC observatory measures concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3) and secondary aerosol precursors (SO2, NOx) as well as particulate matter (PM). Daily aerosol samples are collected on quartz fibre filters to determine PM2.5 concentrations and chemical compositions. Weekly quartz samples are collected for the same analyses of PM10. Rainwater samples are also collected to assess the aerosol-wet deposition.

The aerosol measurement programme has been enhanced to turn the JRC observatory into a super-station where all the parameters needed to understand the interplay of ozone and aerosols with solar radiation are measured. As such, aerosol size distribution (in the range 8 nm - 10 ┬Ám), and aerosol absorption and scattering coefficients are continuously monitored. The vertical profiling of aerosols is carried out using a LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging laser beam). Additional measurements are carried out during specific periods to develop EMEP-recommended methodologies or European standards.