World Calibration Center for Nitrogen Oxides
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) program links worldwide atmospheric observations into a global network to improve our understanding of atmospheric processes and the interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere, and oceans.
The mission of GAW as it is described in its strategic plan is to
- Reduce environmental risks to society and meet the requirements of environmental conventions
- Strengthen capabilities to predict climate, weather and air quality
- Contribute to scientific assessments in support of environmental policy.
This is achieved by
- Maintaining and applying global, long-term observations of the chemical composition and selected physical characteristics of the atmosphere
- Emphasising quality assurance and quality control
- Delivering integrated products and services of relevance to users.
Nitrogen oxides, the sum of nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are compounds of biogenic and anthropogenic origin and are among the compounds which are measured. Besides their adverse effects on human health, nitrogen oxides are key components governing atmospheric chemistry.
The monitoring network for nitrogen oxides consists of 160 stations measuring, among them 17 global stations which offer a comprehensive set of measurements and a large observational footprint.
Regional and world calibration centers are important cornerstones in the data quality strategy of GAW. The world calibration center for nitrogen oxides (WCC-NOx) is hosted at our institute.
The Tasks of the World Calibration Center for NOx are
- Developing standard operation procedures
- Ensuring traceability of standards
- Conducting station audits
- Participation in round-robin experiments and intercomparisons
- Providing training and advice to station scientists and technicians