News Archive

Ozone, methane and aerosols (tiny pollutant particles) remain in the atmosphere for a shorter time than CO2, but can affect both the climate and air quality. Yet environmental policies tend to separate the two issues, with measures that fight air pollution not always bringing climate benefits and vice-versa.
Perlemorskyer. Foto.From time to time, beautiful clouds show up in the sky. They are called nacreous clouds (from nacre, mother of pearl), due to their beautiful iridescent colour, and are located high up in the atmosphere. But did you know that these pearly clouds often further the depletion of the ozone layer?
Blodprøvetaking. Illustrasjonsfoto.The human body contains many contaminants. A new research project shows that data models can replicate measurements of PCB concentrations in individuals, and thus help scientists understand what happens with these contaminants in our bodies.
Burning fireplaceDeveloping and using socially responsible ICT-based crowdsourcing tools, NILU and partners want to engage citizens all over Norway in environmental research and decision-making processes on issues regarding water drainage, wood burning and urban planning.
Photo: ShutterstockFor the last decade, Norwegian scientists have had their eyes on the chemicals that make our hair shiny and our skin soft. Siloxanes have greased our daily life for many years, while slowly seeping out into our environment. Now the politicians are going to decide whether we can continue to use them – or not.
NILU is proud to announce that Senior Scientist Dr. Andreas Stohl has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant, the most prestigious research funding award given by the European Research Council (ERC), for the project COMTESSA – Camera Observation and Modelling of 4D Tracer Dispersion in the Atmosphere.
In the near future, smart technology will give each and every one of us the possibility to monitor air quality where we live, say scientists at NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research. However, the future is already here...
Brussels / Leipzig, 3. June 2015: The European Commission will fund the research infrastructure ACTRIS-2 with a total of 9.5 million euros until 2019. Thus, the existing network of ground-based long-term observatories for aerosols, clouds and trace gases can be further expanded.
From the NILU annual report: Could emission abatement of short-lived climate pollutants help mitigate climate change?
From NILU's annual report: Reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere is one way of combating the effects of global warming on the atmosphere, and thus limiting the consequences of climate change on ecosystems and human health
From NILU's annual report: Aerosols are one of the factors influencing climate change. Thus, NILU scientists wanted to find out more about aerosols, in order to make more precise predictions about climate change.
From NILU's annual report: Nanomaterials are everywhere around us. You find nanomaterials in a broad range of materials from sport clothes, cosmetics, toothpaste, painting, building materials and electronics to pharmaceuticals. Moreover, as rapid progress within nanotechnology continues, more products enter the market.
Polluted air over Oslo. Photo.From NILU's annual report: NILU and MET Norway collaborate on a national project for the development of open source tools for mapping local air quality in Norway. The first phase runs from 2014 to 2016, and by the end of 2016 new tools and information on air quality throughout Norway will be available.
Exposure to semi volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in non-industrial indoor air and dust is an important exposure pathway for humans, since we spend a high proportion of our time in indoor environments – and the levels of some SVOCs are often higher indoors than outdoors.

Despite this, there is still lack of knowledge on the occurrence and distribution of emerging SVOCs in non-industrial indoor environments, as well as about the relationship between occurrence/levels of SVOCs and building materials/house contents. Thus, NILU and the NORMAN Network invites all interested parties to a workshop on 8-9 June at NILU, Kjeller.
Buildings destroyed by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake released thousands of tons of climate-warming and ozone-depleting chemicals into the atmosphere, according to a new study.
– All my life is work, says Maria eagerly, while she in English, and with the ease born of long practice, throws around words like cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, oxidative stress and nanomaterials. She has not been easy to "catch" for this meeting. She is head of the Health Effects Laboratory at NILU, and even more than usually engaged in her projects.

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Oversiktsbilde over Paris. Foto.The European Environment Agency (EEA) released the new «Air Quality in Europe 2014 report» yesterday. According to the report, air pollution in Europe comes with a high price tag, and while policies have improved air quality overall, air pollution is still the main environmental health hazard.
Open conference: The European Commission Directorate-General for Research & Innovation and the European Union-funded Citizens’ Observatories projects invite you to the conference “Citizens’ Observatories: Empowering European Society”, to be held on 4th December 2014 at the Management Centre Europe, Brussels.
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We surround ourselves with more and more new chemicals, and are exposed daily to a vast amount of substances and mixtures of chemicals we do not really understand the effect of on an individual. We get in contact with these chemicals through food, clothes, cosmetics, furniture, air, water and other media.

Some of these chemical compounds have important properties, such as providing flame retardant substances in clothes, but they also have the potential to affect both the environment and human health.

The impact of these substances, but also the impact of chemical mixtures, requires better documentation and is an important part of NILU’s research agenda.
In the near future it will be possible to simplify monitoring of urban air quality through citizens by using sensor technologies and mobile applications. The EU projects CITI-SENSE and Citi-Sense-MOB aim at empowering citizens to monitor the air quality in their immediate environment and implementing measures to influence politicians and decision makers.
One would think that being nominated as one of Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers is a great honour for all scientists. But for some, the science is more important than the reputation.
Illustrasjonsfoto flyvingeIn recent years, researchers have observed that the amount of methane in the atmosphere increases. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. A change in the natural methane emissions may cause the temperature to rise both higher and faster than previously thought.
In a new study funded by The Research Council of Norway through FRIPRO, researchers from NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, and the universities in Oslo, Toronto and Lancaster found that nearly a quarter of the e-waste from OECD countries floods into just seven developing countries — with major potential health risks for the people who live there.
Black and shiny with white «eyes», NILU’s latest creation stands on the work bench, waiting to be used. Finally “the cube” with its six sensors for infrared radiation is ready to hover through the clouds.
The summer holidays are here, and many of us will be enjoying the sunny side of life at the seaside. However, not only clean beaches and clear water awaits us. There is also cigarette stubs, fishing gear, the popular Norwegian disposable barbecues, bottles, cans and plastic litter.
That nice, silky smooth feeling you get when you rub yourself with lotion after the shower comes from chemicals called siloxanes. Scientists find these same substances in hair shampoo, cleaning products, car wax - and cod.
Research vessel Helmer HanssenThe week before Easter NILU scientists Adam Durant and Ove Hermansen are on board the research vessel "RV Helmer Hanssen" of UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, as part of the MOCA project. The purpose of the trip is to install and test for measuring methane in the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean, in preparation for a summer campaign to determine if gas emissions from methane hydrates at the ocean floor are reaching the atmosphere. Follow the vessel here.
Fabrikkpiper og kvinne som bærer brenselkvister på hodet.Globally 7 million people died attributable to the joint effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution in 2012, according to WHO. NILU's air quality management programmes in urban areas around the world seek solutions aimed at reducing the health burden of people.
January 2014, Queen Maud Land, Antarctica: Three guys in blue anoraks peer toward the polar sun. A few meters above the ground hangs a container, shaking in a seemingly thin line on the way over to the truck bed that will carry it two kilometers away and 278 meters up. The time has come to move the Troll Observatory.
Greenhouse gas concentrations in atmosphere reach new record according to WMO. It confirms the trends we see through our measurements at Svalbard, says Cathrine Lund Myhre (NILU).

“Greenhouse gas concentrations in atmosphere reach new record” was the title of a press release of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), published on November 06. According to WMO, the new record high from 2012 is continuing in an upward and accelerating trend, which is driving climate change.
MOCA- Methane Emissions from the Arctic OCean to the Atmosphere: Present and Future Climate Effects” is a new project at NILU.
The project started 1. October 2013, and is funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The project will enhance understanding of the present atmospheric effects of methane released from dissociation of gas hydrates in Arctic seabed sediments, and will also inform on the future potential impacts in a warming climate on decadal to centennial timescales.
NILU cooperates with Fredskorpset (FK) to strengthen air quality management in Bangladesh through exchange of young professionals.

The first week of November 2013 marks the first round of a 3-year Fredskorpset (FK) exchange program between NILU, Clean Air Asia (CAA), and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). The three organizations have come together under a banner program called Clean Air Partnership for Bangladesh (CAP Bangladesh) to strengthen air quality management capacity of Bangladesh through exchanges of young professionals.

According to recent media reports (example) Norway is a major source of pollution within the Murmansk county in N-W Russia. It is claimed that 45% of the total pollution in the area is originating from abroad, with Norway as an important contributor. NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research has worked extensively in this area, and has critical scientific objections to this assertion. NILU's work shows that it is actually sulfur dioxide (SO2) and heavy metals that are causing pollution in the border area, not nitrogen dioxide (NOX).
Illustration labAs the first laboratory in Norway, NILU’s Health Effects Laboratory is now certified for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) in human related toxicology using OECD recommended cytotoxicity and genotoxicity tests, as well as newly developed methods.
WarsawaNILU has started two projects in cooperation with the Polish Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection. The projects give NILU the opportunity to disseminate experiences on air quality measurement and assessment to Poland to contribute to the improvement of air quality in Europe.
LogoThe seminar brings together scientists who have Svalbard and Ny-Ålesund (78°55’N, 11°56’ E) in particular as a base for their research and monitoring activities.

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Logo IBIS-SHANXIIn the last 20 years, NILU has been actively involved in research and cooperation projects in China. Current activities include the coordination of two projects to support SO2 emission trading in the Shanxi province and to establish an up-to-date air quality (AQ) information system for the Hubei province. Both initiatives are funded by EuropeAid, EU – China Environmental Governance Programme (EGP).
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Euronews, a European, multilingual news television channel, have made a TV presentation about the MEMORI project which is coordinated by NILU.
Euronews, a European, multilingual news television channel, have made a TV presentation about the MEMORI project which is coordinated by NILU. Elin Dahlin and Terje Grøntoft were interviewed during the two days of filming at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo and at NILU.
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Photo: Erik Myrum NæssSeminar: Research shows extreme disparities in environmental conditions in the developing countries in comparison to wealthier nations. Is enough attention given to these disparities?

Time and place: Apr 23, 2013 05:15 PM - 06:45 PM, Auditorium 7, Eilert Sundts hus, Blindern
Organizers: CIENS, SUM and SAIH Blindern
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Dr. Elisabeth Pacyna, Prof. Jozef Pacyna and dr. Kyrre Sundseth receive award for having an article among the "Top-50 most cited articles" published in Atmospheric Environment (2010-2011).
DrinkerFram Centre institutions invite to the Workshop on the Cocktail effects of environmental pollutants on human and wildlife health in the northern Norway and Arctic regions.

Participant should register to no later than 15.03.2013.

See programme here
HimalayaTwo new projects were accepted in 2012 by the Research Council of Norway under a collaboration program with India on climate research.
KvikksølvSuccessful interaction between science and policy making

In Geneva 19 January 2013, due to successful interaction between science and policy making, governments within the UN agreed to a global, legally-binding treaty to prevent emissions and releases of mercury. Prof. Jozef Pacyna and his team at NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, have played a major role in providing the UN policy makers with scientific justification for the treaty. 30 year of scientific work followed up by policy makers worldwide has finally come to a conclusion - to the benefit of millions of people around the word. 
TrafficjamEuropean air quality and health professionals cooperate with authorities and users for better air quality in Europe
Abu Dhabi University Chancellor Dr Nabil Ibrahim and NILU Managing Director Dr Kari Nygaard prepare to cut the ribbonOn Wednesday, 21.11.2012, Abu Dhabi University (ADU) and Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) celebrated the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and opening of the new NILU offices at the University’s Khalifa Campus. The ceremony &was attended by &H.E. Åse Elin Bjerke, the Ambassador of Kingdom of Norway and H.E. Razan al Mubarak, Secretary General of Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), and guests from  more than 40 institutions and companies such as Abu Dhabi Municipality, Abu Dhabi Port Company and other entities that are active in environmental research and air quality management.
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PragueCITI-SENSE is a new EU project under the lead of NILU, with the aim to empower citizens to contribute and participate in environmental governance. The project is also new in the combination of scientific methods, technology development and active empowerment of citizens.
Kyrre SundsethKyrre Sundseth from NILU defended his Ph.D. dissertation publically at the Chemistry Department of the Gdansk University of Technology on Friday, 5 October. He presented his thesis on “A novel combination of methods developed for decision support on abatement of mercury in Europe”. Jozef Pacyna at NILU har been his supervisor.

Results from more than 30 cultural heritage projects were presented at the 2nd European Workshop on cultural Heritage Preservation (EWCHP) which took place at Kjeller last week. A study from England showed that a rise in the temperature due to climate change may contribute to the release of organic acids in the museums in a more serious amount than today.  

Professor Jozef Pacyna, NILU - Norsk institutt for luftforskningProf Jozef Pacyna from NILU has been awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA) of  ICHMET – the International Conference on Heavy Metals in the Environment. It is the first time this award is given, and both Prof Jozef Pacyna and Prof Jerome Nriagu from the University of Michigan have been selected to receive the prize.
Illustrasjonsfoto: Vikingskip During the last 25 years, NILU has been involved in European research projects related to the environment and the preservation of the cultural heritage. Results from ongoing research in this field will be presented at the 2nd European Workshop on Cultural Heritage Protection (EWCHP 2012) which will be arranged by NILU at “Kunnskapsbyens Hus”, Kjeller on 24th -26th  September this year.
AVOID installed on a Airbus plane The infrared system that detects and informs about volcanic ash in the atmosphere has been tested on Airbus in Toulouse, France. – We are happy to confirm that the system also works in high altitudes where the big commercial aircrafts fly, says Dr. Fred Prata from NILU, inventor of the system. 
Dr. Fred Prata, NILU Flying high: Dr. Fred Prata from NILU and Ian Davies from easyJet have won the prestigious aviation prize Flightglobal Achievement Awards – Aviator of the year. The prize has been awarded for their cooperation and dedication to realize the AVOID ash detector, which can enable continued air traffic in the event of volcano eruption.
Armin Wisthaler (to the right) and Tomas Nikovini Foto: Claudia Hak, NILU From NILU's Annual magazine: Senior scientist Armin Wisthaler and NILU’s new mass spectrometer can detect volatile contaminants at unprecedented speed including species that have never been detected before. It is now also possible to analyse for example organic pollutants in the atmosphere from an airplane at full speed, to study unknown chemical reactions in indoor air and to investigate a series of other dependencies of importance for environment and human health.
Article from NILU's Annual Magazine: Air quality in several major Norwegian cities is now so bad that it causes significant health problems, and if worst comes to worst, air quality may even be poorer in the coming years. “The good news is that there are measures that can improve air quality,” says NILU’s Leonor Tarrasón.
Askekamera testes over vulkanen Stromboli, ItaliaFrom NILU's Annual magazine: NILU’s Fred Prata has developed an “ash camera” that alerts airplane pilots to the presence of ash clouds, allowing the aircraft to avoid having to be grounded by volcanic eruptions. The camera is now being tested on EasyJet’s aircraft.
Vulkanen Grimsbötn, SatelittbildeArticle from NILU's Annual magazine: Three days after a volcanic eruption in Iceland in May 2011, the Met Office in London warned that volcanic ash in the skies over large parts of southern Norway could represent a danger to air traffic. But Norwegian experts had their own models and good satellite data and concluded that air traffic could resume as normal.
Link to: Annual magazine 2012 (pdf)

The Norwegian Government’s 2012 white paper on climate change states that research on the effects of global warming and measures to address the problem will continue to be a high priority, along with research on the climate system itself. Research is also an important priority in the Government’s High North strategy. But is the same effort being made in environmental monitoring, the cornerstone of climate research?

SommerstemningSommertemperaturene er endelig kommet til Sør- og Midt-Norge og solstrålene begynner å bli sterke. I Sør-Norge er det frem til lørdag forventet reduksjon i ozonverdiene på mellom 15 og 20 prosent - det øker UV-strålingen tilsvarende. Sola tar mer enn det som er normalt for årstiden.
Lenke til video: Chasing the rays of sun: Measuring snow albedo

A group of researchers from Norway travelled to the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet to make measurements of solar radiation and snow albedo. The project is called VAUUAV and the aim is to collect data to improve climate models and satellite observations. Read more
Link to video from the expedition here

Logo NILU og msnordicNILU and Massanalys Spectrometry Nordic AB are pleased to invite you to the joint seminar: Basics and Applications of Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS). Monday, April 23, at NILU, Kjeller. Invitation.

Senior Scientist Knut Breivik, NILUKnut Breivik and co-authors won the award as 1st Runner-Up Best Policy Analysis paper for 2011, published in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology. The title of the paper is “Are reductions in industrial organic contaminants emissions in rich countries achieved partly by export of toxic wastes?".

A conference with this title will be held from 26-29 March 2012 in London. The aim of the event is to provide a comprehensive update of our knowledge of the Earth system and the pressure our planet is now under. Solutions at all scales will be discussed to move societies towards sustainability. The conference will provide scientific leadership towards the 2012 UN Rio +20 conference.

Illustrasjon: BangladeshThe recent kick-off of the second major project in Bangladesh demonstrates NILUs cooperative efforts in assessing and managing the air quality problems in the country.

ENEROs logoENERO, European Network of Environmental Research Organisations, invites to workshop 29. Mars in Brussels. The title is: Boosting and securing eco-innovations through new partnerships. The purpose of the event is amongst others to bring together key players and stakeholders in European Eco-innovation into a reflection on research organisations’ role in producing sustainable innovations to the global market, and the linkages between environmental research and innovation.  
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Alice Newton- The COMETproject will explore how we can work together to “act local but think global”, says Alice Newton, a global change researcher from Norway.
The Hydronet catamaranThe trunk of the capsized Costa Concordia is waiting to be retrieved. Scientists of the EU FP7 project HydroNet see potential for deployment of their newly developed robotic catamaran that is able to identify and measure different chemicals in the water.
Video fra BBC viser testflyvning med askedetekteringskameraet AvoidThe eruption of Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 ejecting enormous ask plumes into the air, lead to severe problems for air traffic, grounding  millions of passengers and leaving airlines with a loss of billions. Now, Nicarnica is testing an ‘ash camera’ with easyJet, developed by Dr. Fred Prata from NILU. By use of such a device, a chaos with the 2010 dimensions could be greatly reduced in the future.
European air quality shows small signs of improvements over the last two decades, but some pollution concentrations are still a threat to human health. This is the conclusion of a new report about European air quality, published by the European Parliament in November 2011.
From 25-26 October 2011, an international group of 70 scientists met at Lillestrøm Centre of Expertise for the 10th Ny-Ålesund seminar, hosted by NILU.
Testing AVOID over Etna.Early last week, Fred Prata and Adam Durant from Nicarnica Aviation and NILU left behind the Oslo winter and travelled over 3000 miles to Sicily for the AVOID (The Airborne Volcanic Object Imaging Detector) flight trials. In this blog Adam describes the first week of work.
Illustrasjon CIENS dagen 2011CIENS invites you to the CIENS day 2011. Scientific jam session - little impro pieces from the latest research. Do we prefer quick trips rather than safe? When calm air becomes the extreme weather. Geo engineering - how wise is that? These are some of the themes which will be presented in five minutes intervalls. Playing: My little pony

Program: Read program for CIENS day 2011   
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CIENS day 2011
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Thanks to research performed by NILU in The Fram Centre in Tromsø, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety in EU will take a closer look at the use of parabenes in cosmetics. Senior scientist Torkjel Sandanger is pleased to contribute to European regulations.
Illustration: Steve Herman, Wikimedia commonsA new study by an international team of researchers estimates that the emissions from the power plant started earlier, lasted longer and are therefore higher than assumed in most studies conducted before.
We are proud to present our new information-packed, user-friendly website. Whether you are a scientist or policymaker, work in the industry or the media, or are just interested in our work, we hope our new site will provide the information you need about NILU and our research. The website offers easy access to NILU’s main areas of scientific expertise: Atmosphere and Climate, Air Quality, Environmental Chemistry, and Environment, Society and Health. Information about our research and monitoring services can be found under the “Services” tab in the top menu. We hope you have an interesting and informative visit.
The 10th Ny-Ålesund Seminar will take place on 25 - 26 October 2011 at the Lillestrøm Centre of Expertise (Kunnskapsbyen Lillestrøm) in Kjeller, Norway. The meeting is being organized by NILU – the Norwegian Institute for Air Research.

The police chase criminals, NILU chemists chase contaminants. And while their methods are not all that different, real scientific tests take a few more days than their fanciful Hollywood counterparts.

The ozone layer over Norway appears to have stopped thinning. At the same time, however, NILU measured record low seasonal levels of ozone last winter.
Many skin care products contain a variety of chemical substances with partially unknown and possibly harmful effects, and these chemicals not only affect your skin. They end up in your blood - and in the
 environment as far north as the Arctic.
The first results from the collaboration between the Department of Environment in Bangladesh and NILU.
Large European communities generate significant amounts of valuable environmental observations at local and regional scales using mobile communication devices, computers and sensors which are mostly connected to the internet.
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The members of the NanoTOES consortium are 12 partner organizations, including universities, non-university research institutions and industry, which will perform a joint study on the impact of Nanomaterials on Health and Environment.
MEMORI: Measurement, Effect Assessment and Mitigation of Pollutant Impact on Movable Cultural Assets. NILU is from 1st November 2011 coordinating a new EC project; MEMORI. MEMORI will go on for three years until the end of 2014.
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NILU has signed a cooperative agreement with Hubei Environmental Protection Bureau (Hubei EPB) and Green Business Norway (GBN). The agreement aims to develop an air quality management and early warning system for nine cities in the Hubei Province of China. Thus, an important milestone has been reached in the market development for Norwegian exporters of environmental and energy technology in China. NILU is responsible for the development and delivery of the system, while Hubei EPB's act as a customer and a partner in project development and implementation. GBN's role is to assist the parties and coordinating the further cooperation.
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Bangladesh is suffering from some of the world's worst urban air quality problems. Particularly in the non-monsoon period the concentrations of particulate matter regularly exceed proposed standards.  The larger cities such as Dhaka and Chittagong have major traffic issues which represent a source of the air quality problems, while industrial sources such as steel mills, cement factories, and brick kilns are also considerable sources.  NILU, in cooperation with the Bangladesh Department of Environment, has received NORAD funding for a three-year project to study and address these issues.
Andreas Stohl, ko-koordinator for IPY-prosjektet POLARCAT, presenterer magasinet "POLARCAT - A Unique Snapshot of the Arctic Atmosphere", som NILU laget i anledning Polarårets forskerkonferanse Oslo Science Conference, 8. -12. Juni
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Post doc grantee Alessandra Rinna at NILU  Norwegian Institute for Air Research has received the EU Marie Curie grant. The grant will be used within the project `Novel approach to toxicity testing of nanoparticles minimizing lung exposure. Possible protective effect of omega-3 acids.
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NILU and EasyJet are working together on the prototype design of an IR based ash detector that will allow pilots to fly safely around ash clouds.
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Professor Jozef Pacyna at NILU was honoured with the Polish award Bene Merito (Good Merit) in April 2010. The award was given by the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski. The award is given to Polish and foreign citizens for activities strengthening the position of Poland on the international arena.
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Dr. Fred Prata, remote sensing expert from NILU, has been speaking at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) conference. - Current monitoring from space is good but can be improved. Of the present suite of satellite instruments, none were developed for the volcanic ash problem.
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RADO meeting: The two year project RADO - Romanian Atmospheric research 3D Observatory - had its first meeting close to Dracula's Bran Castle in Transylvania in July, attending representatives from Romanian research institutions, universities, Innovation Norway and NILU. The project aims to create the first atmospheric observatory network in Romania, and so far unique in SE Europe.

I slutten av januar hadde Ålesund den dårligste luftkvaliteten i landet med Mo i Rana på tvilsom andreplass. Dette viser nettstedet, som er utviklet og driftet av NILU for SFT og Statens vegevesen. Der graderes luftkvaliteten i en fargeskala fra grønn til rødt. Rødt betyr dårlig luftkvalitet.