International cooperation

During the 1970s, NILU played a central role in establishing a framework for the study of Long Range Transport of Air Pollutants. One of the institute's tasks was to coordinate the international monitoring programmes needed to study transboundary fluxes and long-term trends. The data obtained were used to assess how international emission reduction protocols could be developed.

This work is still ongoing and is now organised though the EMEP programme, where NILU acts as the Chemical Coordinating Centre (EMEP-CCC). In this capacity, NILU has the tasks of developing monitoring strategies, recommending methodologies, offering training and audits and compiling and providing quality assurance for observation data received from the Parties to the EMEP protocol (www.emep.int). Additionally, NILU offers support in relation to capacity building.

Global Atmospheric Watch

NILU also provides services to other international organisations, such as the World Meteorological Organisation and its Global Atmosphere Watch. NILU hosts the World Data Centre for Aerosols (www.gaw-wdca.org), and is represented on several scientific advisory groups. The Zeppelin station is one of the central global GAW sites.

Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)

Transport of pollution to the Arctic has been addressed since the early 1980s. The Arctic was long considered a pristine and unpolluted area, and the discovery of haze layers by weather reconnaissance flights in the 1950s eventually resulted in an extensive research effort on arctic air pollution and its transport pathways. Today we know that arctic ecosystems are among the most sensitive to anthropogenic changes to the environment including deposition of mercury, persistent organic pollutants and climate change. NILU plays an active role in activities undertaken in support of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and coordinated the Polarcat project under the International Polar Year.