National Observatory Of Athens
The Institute for Environmental Research & Sustainable Development of NOA is active over the whole area described in its statutory consignment, with emphasis in the following fields:
- Development of reliable data bases related to the atmospheric environment, to enable the study of meteorological parameters and especially solar radiation, maintaining two meteorological stations, an Atmospheric Electricity Station and a Calibration Laboratory. The data, both raw and processed, are available for use by the scientific and the technical community.
- Experimental research on air quality, utilizing a mobile pollution measuring station, a DOAS and an Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory equipped to measure particulate matter pollution, dioxins and other volatile organic compounds.
- Experimental and theoretical research of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer, wind power, and intense weather phenomena (storms) using both conventional and state of the art equipment, such as the mobile meteorological radar and the accompanying instrumentation.
- Synoptic and mesoscale atmospheric modelling for research purposes as well as for providing weather forecast services to the public
- Application of global climatic and atmospheric chemistry models, to study, among others, the large-scale mechanisms of pollution build-up and the effect of anthropogenic warming on extreme climatic events.
- Building physics and energy conservation applied research, investigating ventilation, building materials, indoor air quality etc. Supporting the technical community through specialized publications, software, and consultant services.
- Development of data bases for the estimation of greenhouse gases’ emissions, along with methodological tools aiming to a better planning of energy and environmental policies against climatic change.
- Addressing environmental management, planning and sustainable development issues, by introducing and using methodologies for the identification and assessment of possible environmental impact, as well as risk management, prevention and treatment.
Study of surface and underground hydrology, and the physicochemical processes affecting the fate of pollutants in an aqueous environment. Development of water resources management and protection methodologies, accounting for social, economical and legal/constitutional aspects.
- Operating a long range VLF sensing system, called ZEUS to monitor the lightning activity over the Mediterranean Sea and in Greece. ZEUS system is composed of 5 stations located in Europe (England, Denmark, Romania, Cyprus and Portugal). Additional stations are deployed in Africa (Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria and Senegal). From the two networks of stations ZEUS covers both Europe and Africa.
The Institute through research aims to enhance its efforts in providing services and support to the State, the private sector and the public, employing its equipment, knowledge, research results, and data, either collected or produced.
Special interest is placed upon the:
- Improvement of meteorological, hydro-meteorological and climatic events forecasting, especially intense ones.
- Air quality research, with specific attention to compounds suspect for toxic, carcinogenic or mutagenic activity, such a dioxins, VOCs and PAHs.
- Integrated approach of Sustainable Development issues, including climatic change, water resources management, environmental impacts and energy conservation planning.
Furthermore, an Observatory for Energy and the Environment along with a Risk Centre, are being planned, in order to utilize and enhance the existing know-how and experience, and provide sound and reliable information and support to the State and the public.
The achievement of these goals is guaranteed by the high scientific level the wide and historically proven acceptance of the Institute, and the recent modernization with the state of the art instrumentation.
The National Observatory of Athens has great experience in similar projects such as: ENSEMBLES (Ensemble-Based Predictions of Climate Changes and their Impacts) a project which aims to maintain and extend European pre-eminence in the provision of policy relevant information on climate and climate change and its interactions with society, MICE (Modelling the impacts of climate extremes) a project aims to identify the likely changes in the occurrence of extremes of rainfall, temperature and windstorm in Europe due to global warming, using information from climate models as a basis and study the impacts of these changes for selected impact categories: agriculture (Mediterranean drought), commercial forestry and natural forest ecosystems (windstorm, flood and fire), energy use (temperature extremes), tourism (heat stress in the Mediterranean, changes in the snow pack) and civil protection/insurance (windstorm and flood), etc.