A European compilation of national air quality maps based on modelling
ETC/ACM Technical Paper 2013/3

Released: 2013/04/08: See the report

Air quality models are increasingly used by European countries in their air quality assessments but there is limited interaction or harmonisation of modelling results between countries. The ETC/ACM identified the countries using modelling activities for (sub)national assessments and made a request for national air quality mapping results, submitted by countries in their official reporting to the EC. It concerns annual averages of PM10, NO2 and SO2 for 2010. It resulted in many enthusiastic responses. Out of the contacted 32 countries, 31 countries responded and 19 were able to submit data. Yet 12 countries are in the process of implementation.
The national mapping results have been combined into European “composite” maps. they demonstrate that national maps differ both in grid resolution and in grid orientation. This paper discusses visual consistencies and possible discrepancies in modelling, without any value judgement on model performance. It intends to indicate where potential model harmonisation and spatial refinement efforts may be needed if a more consistent and homogeneous distribution of modelling results is to be obtained over Europe, independent of territorial borders. Additional information on the model characteristics and its application criteria have been provided, including a reference to the Model Documentation System (MDS) of EEA, if applicable.
Concluded from the inventory is the positive attitude within the countries to contribute with and to exchange modelling and mapping information. There exists a clear need for a forum where difficulties and complexities in the air quality modelling and mapping can be expressed and discussed. There is a need for a common platform that generates an overview of all national activities and that pro-actively coordinates, facilitates and supports exchange and sharing of modelling experiences, model harmonisation efforts and streamlines results on air quality modelling between the (groups of) countries in Europe, resulting in a more consistent European representation of modelled legislative pollutant indicators. The Forum for Air Quality Modelling (FAIRMODE) initiative could provide such a platform.

Prepared by: ETC/ACM partner members Peter de Smet, Frank de Leeuw (RIVM, NL), Jan Horálek, Pavel Kurfürst (CHMI, CZ).

Published by: ETC/ACM, March 2013, 76 pp.

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