The monitoring of air pollution is at the heart of the Air convention as it provides the ground truth of the exposure of people, vegetation, crops and materials to the pollutants emitted to the atmosphere. As such it is an integral part of monitoring programmes under several ICPs, with focus shifting between atmospheric concentrations of sulphur and nitrogen oxides, ammonia, particulate matter and of ozone.
ICP Integrated Monitoring
ICP Integrated Monitoring performs measurement of gases and aerosols carried out in the subprogramme Air Chemistry, which gives information needed for assessing the input of air pollutants to the ecosystem due to long-range transport in the atmosphere. Gases and aerosols may interact with trees and vegetation via dry deposition either by direct interaction in the canopy or indirectly via interaction of the deposited pollutants in soils and surface waters. The main focus is on sulfur and nitrogen.
The ICP Materials
The ICP Materials programme monitors air quality in relation to its effects on materials, including historic and cultural monuments. The Norwegian Institute for Air Research is the subcentre within the programme that is responsible for the collection, storage, evaluation, and reporting of the environmental data since 1987.
The reported data from 25 stations and 16 countries (as of 2021) includes climate parameters, such as temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation, as well as pollutants. As the climate and pollution situation has changed, the focus of the programme regarding pollutants has adapted to the new trends. The latest focus has been parameters such as HNO3 and particulate matter, as the programme expanded to include not only corrosion but also soiling of materials. The latest environmental report can be found in the ICP Materials website.