Challenges, necessity and state-of-the-art
Significant effort has been recently devoted to understanding atmospheric composition change due to human activities in the East Mediterranean, supporting the role of the basin as the “pressure-cooker” of transported air pollution. Interaction of atmospheric constituents with radiation is also a major controller for the climate at regional scales. At the local to urban scales, pressing environmental problems faced e.g. in metropolitan areas, continue to baffle the scientific community as well as the local authorities, despite the measures taken to reduce the levels of hazardous pollutants. The outdoor conditions have a pronounced impact on the indoor climate taking into account the type of indoor space use and activities. As an additional, but still underappreciated factor of environmental pollution, “noise” has received significant attention during the past decade. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution is now officially a carcinogen, while traffic noise is also considered amongst the most relevant environmental burden on health.
Main research activities
- Air Quality monitoring and modeling based on measurements of chemical compounds harmful to public health and to the environment
- Monitoring of the chemical, optical and physical properties of aerosols, as well as of levels of major inorganic, organic and greenhouse gases, using in-situ and both active and passive remote sensing techniques
- Monitoring of the indoor environmental conditions in buildings of different use.
- Monitoring and reporting of noise, following the Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EC.
- Modelling activities from state-of-the art climate global models (EC-Earth) and via regional atmospheric ones (COSMO-ART), down to the local scale (EPISODE-CItyChem)
- Research on the factors affecting solar radiation (specific focus on UV), spatial and temporal characteristics, energy applications, instrumentation development and characterisation.
- Satellite based observations of environmental parameters.
- Research on linkage between air pollution exposure and effects on health
- Earth system processes and their impacts on Climate
- Earth observation, policy and urban perspectives
Operational activities and services
- Operation of the Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory for the implementation of chemical analyses and the investigation of health related atmospheric components.
- Operation of a Mobile Air Quality Monitoring Station for air pollutants measurement services
- Operation of infrastructure for the provision of services on environmental noise monitoring.
- Provision of four (4) day forecast for the Ultraviolet Index over Greece.