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Long term observations in Europe

Developing an observing capacity suited to follow and understand atmospheric composition changes and to account for regional specificities is a primary objective of EUCAARI, Sustained long-term observations of short-lived species outside of policy-regulated variables have in fact, been crucially missing over Europe. A European network of 21 ground-based sites located in areas representative of most environmental conditions in Europe was established. By the end of the EUCAARI project, the network provided the most comprehensive record of aerosol observation ever produced in Europe. In addition to basic aerosol variables as recommended by GAW, observations were expanded for providing both relative-humidity controlled size distribution and size-segregated chemistry.

Overall, the EUCAARI-EUSAAR observations provide the most extensive record of aerosol properties available for the European continent. In particular, the time period from May-2008 to May 2009 could be taken as a reference year for most model studies in the future. We could use the different analysis methods together with site categorizations provided a possibility to distinguish typical air mass types in Europe, with high potential for use in both model comparisons and in general determination of aerosol properties in Europe.