European Commission EU Science Hub FAIRMODE


Forum for air quality modelling in Europe

  • Documents

    Guidance Document on Modelling Quality Objectives and Benchmarking

    Download FAIRMODE

    Publisher: FAIRMODE

    The main purpose of this Guidance Document is to explain and summarize the current concepts of the modelling quality objective methodology, elaborated in various papers and documents in the FAIRMODE community, addressing mainly model applications for air quality assessment. Other goals of the Document are linked to presentation and explanation of templates for harmonized reporting of modelling results. Giving an overview of still open issues in the implementation of the presented methodology, the Document aims at triggering further research and discussions.

    Fairmode recommendations on e-reporting

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    Publisher: FAIRMODE

    The document summarizes the work carried out under FAIRMODE to support the implementation of the e-reporting process, with particular reference to modelled data. It consisted in three main activities: a) a survey to investigate what are the limiting factors for member states to report modelled data, b) answering the questions received from EEA about model formats and model code lists, and c) providing advice on the section "Plans and Programmes" including the recommendations about source apportionment.

    SPECIEUROPE: The European database for PM source profiles

    Download WG3-Source App.

    Publisher: JRC

    A new database of atmospheric particulate matter emission source profiles in Europe (SPECIEUROPE) developed in the framework of the Forum for air quality modeling in Europe (FAIRMODE, Working Group 3) is accessible at the website. It contains the chemical composition of particulate matter emission sources reported in the scientific literature and reports drafted by competent authorities. The first release of SPECIEUROPE consists of 151 measured (original), 13 composite (merging different subcategories of similar sources), 6 calculated (from stoichiometric composition) and 39 derived (results of source apportionment studies) profiles. Each profile is related to one or more source categories or subcategories. The sources with the highest PM relative mass toxic pollutants such as PAHs are fuel oil burning, ship emissions, coke burning and wood burning. Heavy metals are most abundant in metal processing activities while halogens are mostly present in fertilizer production, coal burning and metallurgic sector. Anhydrosugars are only measured in biomass and wood burning source categories, because are markers for these categories. The alkaline earth metals are mostly present in road dust, cement production, soil dust and sometimes coal burning. Source categories like traffic and industrial, which contain heterogeneous subcategories, show the greatest internal variability.

    The relationships between sources profiles were also explored using a cluster analysis approach based upon the Standardized Identity Distance (SID) indicator. The majority of profiles are allocated in 8 major clusters. Some of the clusters include profiles mainly from one source category (e.g. wood burning) while others, such as industrial source profiles, are more heterogeneous and spread over three different clusters.

    A new methodology to assess the performance and uncertainty of source apportionment models II: The results of two European intercomparison exercises

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    Publisher: JRC

    The performance and the uncertainty of receptor models (RMs) were assessed in intercomparison ex- ercises employing real-world and synthetic input datasets. To that end, the results obtained by different practitioners using ten different RMs were compared with a reference. In order to explain the differences in the performances and uncertainties of the different approaches, the apportioned mass, the number of sources, the chemical profiles, the contribution-to-species and the time trends of the sources were all evaluated using the methodology described in Belis et al. (2015).

    In this study, 87% of the 344 source contribution estimates (SCEs) reported by participants in 47 different source apportionment model results met the 50% standard uncertainty quality objective established for the performance test. In addition, 68% of the SCE uncertainties reported in the results were coherent with the analytical uncertainties in the input data.

    How to start with PM modelling for air quality assessment and planning relevant to the Air Quality Directive. ETC/ACM Technical Paper 2013/11

    Web link WG1-Assessment

    L. Rouil (INERIS, FR) B. Bessagnet (INERIS, FR)

    This document provides a first overview of questions and recommendations for the modelling of ambient particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) concentrations in Europe.

    This review document has been developed to help support the needs of the EU Member States in addressing the European Air Quality Directive 2008/50/EC covering PM pollution. It is part of the WG1-Assessment.

    European guide on air pollution source apportionment with receptor models

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    Publisher: JRC

    This report contains a guide and a European harmonised protocol for the identification of air pollution sources using receptor models. The document aims at disseminating and promoting the best available methodologies for source identification and at harmonising their application across Europe. It was developed by a committee of leading experts within the framework of the JRC initiative for the harmonisation of source apportionment that has been launched in collaboration with the European networks in the field of air quality modelling (FAIRMODE) and measurements (AQUILA). The protocol has been conceived as a reference document that includes tutorials, technical recommendations and check lists connected to the most up-to-date and rigorous scientific standards. As a guide, it is structured in sections with increasing levels of complexity that make it accessible to readers with different degrees of familiarity with this topic, from air quality managers to air pollution experts and modellers.

    Recommendations from FAIRMODE to the review of the EU Air Quality Policy

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    Publisher: FAIRMODE

    Guide on modelling Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) for air quality assessment and planning relevant to the European Air Quality Directive. ETC/ACM Technical Paper 2011/15

    Web link R. Denby (NILU)

    Contribution: ETC/ACC, ETC/ACM Consortium

    The European Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC) sets limit values for the concentration of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). It is a requirement that all air quality zones and agglomerations assess the levels of NO2 and report these to the European Commission. If NO2 concentrations are found to exceed these limit values then the Member States are obliged to take appropriate steps to reduce these concentrations. In order to do this effectively, air quality management plans must be developed and possible measures assessed. Air quality modelling then becomes an essential tool for local and national authorities to manage their air quality.

    This document provides initial guidance on the use of models for air quality assessment and planning, with particular regard to modelling NO2 concentrations. The document is intended as guidance for authorities and modellers to help stimulate 'good practise' in air quality modelling and provide an overview and description of methods and tools available for air quality modelling. Since NO2 is generally a local and urban scale problem, this document concentrates on applications within cities.

    The application of models under the European Union's Air Quality Directive: A technical reference guide.

    Web link

    Publisher: EEA

    This technical reference guide is the result, after EEA revisions, of the 'Guidance on the use of models for the European Air Quality Directive (version 6.2)'.

    This technical reference guide provides a general overview of the use of models with regard to the consolidated Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (the AQ Directive).

    Tools and databases

    DELTASA - Delta tool for Source Apportionment

    Web link WG3-Source App.

    DeltaSA is an on-line tool to assess source apportionment model outputs. It works in two different modes. The first is the source chemical profiles similarity test (CPS) accomplished by comparing those obtained by the user with more than one thousand PM10/PM2.5 source measured chemical profiles from the online SPECIATE (US-EPA) and SPECIEUROPE repositories. This configuration is intended to support practitioners in the identification of factors during the execution of factor analytical tools. The second mode consists in a complete test of the model performance (MP) using a testing dataset and reference values generated in the framework of inter-comparison exercises organized by the European Commission - JRC.

    To access the tool new users have to follow a short online registration procedure.

    SHERPA - Screening for High Emission Reduction Potential on Air

    Web link

    SHERPA (Screening for High Emission Reduction Potential on Air) is a Java/Python tool, which allows for a rapid exploration of potential air quality improvements resulting from national/regional/local emission reduction measures. The tool has been developed with the aim of supporting national, regional and local authorities in the design and assessment of their air quality plans.
    SHERPA can also provide input data to be used RIAT+ (The Regional Integrated Assessment Tool), a more advanced tool for Integrated Assessment Modeling dealing with the cost-effectiveness of measures.

    EU Composite Maps

    Web link WG1-Assessment WG2-Emission

    FAIRMODE-WG1 proposes to initiate an activity aiming at collecting and assembling modelled air quality maps, following the work initiated in the ETC/ACM pilot study. The objective is to create a bottom-up composition map of air quality over Europe. National/regional agencies or modelling teams are encouraged to provide their best available air quality map for their particular region and those maps will be compiled into an (hopefully) EU-wide bottom-up composite map. This mapping exercise will be used as common platform within FAIRMODE.

    SPECIEUROPE Database

    Web link WG3-Source App.

    SPECIEUROPE is a repository of source profiles developed by the JRC in the framework of FAIRMODE WG3. The target users are source apportionment and emission experts working on the identification of atmospheric pollution sources in urban or background areas in Europe. In order maximize the compatibility with existing systems, the encoding of species in SPECIEUROPE is coherent with the one of the well-known US-EPA SPECIATE repository for north-American sources.

    Delta Tool: a tool for air quality models benchmarking

    Web link WG1-Assessment

    The DELTA software is an IDL-based evaluation software which includes the main assets of the EuroDelta, CityDelta, and POMI tools (Cuvelier et al. 2007; Thunis et al. 2007.). It allows to perform a rapid diagnostic of the model performances. DELTA focuses on the pollutants mentioned in the AQ directive and addresses all relevant spatial scales (from local to regional).

    MDS - Model Documentation System

    Web link

    The Model Documentation System aims to provide guidance to any model user in the selection of the most appropriate model for his application. Inclusion of a model in the system is by no means associated with any form of endorsement for using the particular model: it helps select the most appropriate by using the specifications submitted by the modellers.

    Catalogue Of Air Quality Measures

    Web link WG4-Planning

    The "Catalogue of Measures" supports the implementation of the Air Quality Directive by providing a selected number of successful (best practice) and unsuccessful Air Quality measures. This database is intended for officials responsible for air quality assessment, planning and management on the national, regional and local level.